By on November 9, 2012

“Whenever Sergio Marchionne, chief executive of carmakers Fiat and Chrysler, appears in public, television crews jostle to beam his words around the globe. Amid the push and shove it’s easy to miss the tall, curly-headed young man who often looks on from the sidelines.

He’s John Elkann.  And he’s Marchionne’s boss.”“The 36-year-old Elkann is tall, blond and soft-spoken, given to awkward silences during conversations. Marchionne, 60, is rumpled, dark and tart-tongued, reveling in his super-star reputation for pulling Fiat from the brink of bankruptcy eight years ago.”

A fascinating Reuters report about who’s really boss at Fiat. Read it here.

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11 Comments on “The Awkward Captain Of Industry...”


  • avatar
    Freddy M

    Good God I always thought that was his son, being forced uncomfortably into the media spotlight by a proud father and part of a PR plan to show the “softer side of Sergio.”

  • avatar
    rpol35

    Who’d a thunk it? That is fascinating!

  • avatar

    Old news for veteran Fiat watchers, though it does seem that of late the young one has been taking over the reins more.

  • avatar
    snakebit

    I wasn’t particularly a fan of Sergio’s until I watched the 60 Minutes profile of him last spring. Now, I’m president of his fan club. He is exactly what Chrysler Motors car buyers and Chrysler employees needed.
    You don’t need to agree, but do watch the podcast to see what I saw.

  • avatar
    el scotto

    Is Sergio mentoring John as John takes more responsibility in the Agnelli empire? I could see John taking over from Sergio when Sergio decides it’s time to retire.

    • 0 avatar
      rpol35

      I think you are right. I looked this guy up since Marcelo said he’s old news; I’d never heard of him but I don’t follow Fiat either. Anyway, Elkann picked Sergio to be the Fiat CEO, ostensibly, so he could learn something. If you look at Elkann’s pedigree, it is exactly that a European family pedigree with little real-world, hard knocks experience. He’ll probably learn some reality from Sergio.

  • avatar
    Dman

    Francesco Da Mosto interviewed Elkann in his BBC series Top to Toe. Seemed like a very down to earth fellow. In a role he did not expect to fill. He has done fairy well.
    I too am a big fan of Sergio. He strikes me as the kinda of guy I could drink and talk cars with for hours.

  • avatar
    ranwhenparked

    I didn’t think this was news, the guy’s been on the Fiat board in one capacity or another for nearly 15 years now.

    I heard a rumor once to the effect that after the untimely death of Umberto, the Agnelli family wasn’t totally united in who should ultimately take over. John was the safe and most logical choice, but a certain faction wanted to see the Agnelli name itself continue at the helm, so his cousin cousin Andrea was also elected onto the board as sort of a Plan B.

  • avatar
    blowfish

    i see Johnny is the capo de tutti cappi of Fix It Again Tony, i always thought Sergio is.

  • avatar
    blowfish

    then without sergio FIAT could be in the same boat as costa concordia!

    Johnny better not to throttle him at all or be a quiet little lap dog.

    the big owners are the agnelli family, no different than FORD too.


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