As Health Suffers, Fiat Chrysler CEO Sergio Marchionne Could Be Replaced Today

Steph Willems
by Steph Willems

Several news agencies are reporting that Sergio Marchionne, the colorful chief executive who returned Fiat, and then a combined Fiat Chrysler, to profitability, might not end the day as CEO.

Marchionne, who took the helm of Fiat in 2004, was due to retire next April, and recently unveiled the automaker’s upcoming five-year product plan. Two sources told Reuters that Marchionne suffered “massive” complications from a recent shoulder surgery. According to those sources, the boards of Fiat Chrysler, Ferrari, and CNH Industrial are all meeting Saturday to name a successor.

The Associated Press (via Detroit Free Press) claims the surgery took place in Switzerland three weeks ago.

Though Marchionne planned to step down in early 2019 — a move timed to coincide with the elimination of FCA’s longstanding debt — the 66-year-old executive planned to stay on as head of the newly spun-off Ferrari for some time after. According to sources who spoke to Bloomberg, board member Louis Camilleri will likely take the CEO position at the Italian sports car maker, with John Elkann (heir of the controlling Agnelli family) serving as chairman.

Marchionne’s replacement at FCA will come from within the company, Elkann has already stated. Sources claim his duties will be split among several individuals, with one serving as CEO.

Among the most likely contenders for the top position are Jeep brand chief Mike Manley, CFO Richard Palmer, and FCA Europe head Alfredo Altavilla.

Since the acquisition of Chrysler by Fiat, Marchionne’s habit of plain speaking and wearing only sweaters set him apart from the industry’s polished automotive CEOs. During this time, Marchionne built Jeep into a global brand and a financial juggernaut, with the brand now valued higher than the company itself. FCA singled out Jeep, Ram, and the Alfa Romeo and Maserati brands in its latest five-year plan as the automaker’s dominant global brands, relegating Chrysler, Dodge, and Fiat to smaller, more regional duties.

[Image: Fiat Chrysler Automobiles]

Steph Willems
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  • Geozinger Geozinger on Jul 22, 2018

    While not his biggest fan, I wish the man a swift recovery and future good health.

  • Dukeisduke Dukeisduke on Jul 23, 2018

    Wow. I'm no fan of Sergio's but this is not good news. I'm assuming he had rotator cuff surgery - several friends of mine have had it, and my sister, too, and even the best outcome includes a months-long recovery period. I'm hoping his prognosis improves, and he gets well soon.

  • Juan Let's do an 1000 mile drive and see who gets there first.
  • Eliyahu CVT needed for MPG. Outback is indeed the legacy of, err, the Legacy.
  • Gayneu I can comment on these. My wife always thought the Minis were "cute" so I bought her a used 2005 (non-S, 5 speed) for one of her "special" birthdays. She loved it and I kinda did too. Somehow a hole developed in the transmission case and the fluid drained out, ruining the car (too expensive to fix). A local mechanic bought it for $800.We then bought a used 2015 S (6 speed) which we still have today (80k miles). Her sister just bought a used S as well (also manual). It has been a dependable car but BMW-priced maintenance and premium gas hurts for sure. I think the earlier generation (like in the article) were better looking with cleaner lines. The 2015 S rides too stiff for me (Chicago roads) but is a hoot on smooth ones. It does seem to shift weird - its hard to describe but it shifts differently from every other manual I have driven. No matter how hard I try, so won't let go of her Mini.
  • Crown Seems like they cut some cylinders too.A three cylinder...where are they planning on selling that??
  • Slavuta "There’s also the problem of climate change, and the more intense weather that comes along with it"How could one even write something like this? We don't have more intense weather. We have better weather. When Earth started, it was a fiery ball. We don't know what weather was in 1700. And even if we know some of it in Europe, we don't know what was happening in Africa, South America, Oceania, etc. We have people living in places where they did not live before. We have news that report weather related events minutes later or during. This did not happen before. There is no evidence that we have an increase in intensity. I looked into historical records in the area where I live - there is not much movement at all between 1970 and now. And remember - none of the previous weather predictions have materialized.