Marchionne leaves Ferrari due to poor health

Marchionne leaves Ferrari due to poor health

Replacing him will be the be the former boss of FCA's Ram and Jeep brands, Mike Manley.

The announcement, at the end of an urgently convened board meeting, marked the end of the Marchionne era, which included the turnaround of failing Fiat, the takeover of bankrupt US automaker Chrysler and the spinoffs of the heavy machinery and truck maker CNH and supercar maker Ferrari.

In June, Marchionne presented a five-year strategy for the company, which included a major investment push to produce more electrified cars. His credentials include running the profitable Jeep and Ram brands and he also built the company's presence in Asia.

John Elkann, grandson of Gianni Agnelli and chairman of the company that controls FCA, said the family was shocked by Marchionne's failing health. "My first thoughts go to Sergio and his family". Marchionne became Fiat's CEO in 2004, overseeing the merger with Chrysler to create FCA.

The man rumoured to be the new boss of Ferrari is Louis Camilleri, the former CEO of Philip Morris International who is now the chairman of the cigarette company which owns Marlboro and is Ferrari's primary sponsor, although the branding no longer appears on the cars.

Marchionne and Manley
Marchionne has watched Jeep and Ram grow under Mike Manley's leadership

"It has been my privilege to have had Sergio at my side for all these years", Elkann said in asking for respect for Marchionne's privacy at this time.

"With reference to the health of Sergio Marchionne, Fiat Chrysler Automobiles N.V. communicates with profound sorrow that during the course of this week unexpected complications arose while Mr. Marchionne was recovering from surgery and that these have worsened significantly in recent hours".

Marchionne, 66, had already announced he would step down in early 2019, so the board's decision, to be confirmed at an upcoming shareholders' meeting, will "accelerate" the CEO transition process, the statement said. The board will propose at the next Shareholder Meeting that he be elected to the board and serve as an executive director of the company.

"The Board has also given Louis C. Camilleri the necessary powers to ensure continuity of the company's operation".

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