By on July 21, 2018


Louis C. Camilleri was named the next chief executive officer of Ferrari N.V. on Saturday, succeeding former CEO and chairman Sergio Marchionne, whose health has taken a turn for the worse.

As head of Fiat Chrysler, Marchionne orchestrated the successful spin-off of Ferrari beginning in 2014, completing the process in 2016. While the executive had planned to stay on as chairman of the Italian luxury sports car brand after his scheduled retirement from FCA in April of 2019, fate intervened. Jeep brand head Mike Manley is now CEO of FCA, while Camilleri — who arrives with an impressive background in big business — has taken the helm of Ferrari.

In the chairman’s seat now sits John Elkann, head of the Agnelli family’s Exor holding company, which holds a controlling stake in FCA and Ferrari.

In a statement, Ferrari’s board of directors said that, in a meeting held in the coming days, it will propose to shareholders that Camilleri be named CEO.

“The Board has also given Louis C. Camilleri the necessary powers to ensure continuity of the company’s operation,” the company stated. It also expressed its “deep sadness” that Marchionne will not be able to return to work.

From 2008 until 2013, Camilleri chaired Philip Morris International, a major Ferrari sponsor. Before that, he served as CEO of Kraft Foods International.

In two statements posted to FCA’s website, the automaker and Elkann wrote of their respect and admiration for Marchionne, as well as the suddenness of his current situation. The automaker stated its “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.”

In a much longer statement, Elkann wrote:

I am profoundly saddened to learn of Sergio’s state of health. It is a situation that was unthinkable until a few hours ago, and one that leaves us all with a real sense of injustice.

My first thoughts go to Sergio and his family.

What struck me about Sergio from the very beginning, when we met to talk about the possibility of him coming to work for the Group, even more than his management skills and unusual intelligence, were his human qualities, his generosity and the way he understood people.

Over the past 14 years together we have lived through successes and difficulties, internal and external crises, but also unique and unrepeatable moments, both personal and professional.

For so many, Sergio has been an enlightened leader and a matchless point of reference.

For me, he has been someone with whom to share thoughts and in whom to trust, a mentor and above all a true friend.

He taught us to think differently and to have the courage to change, often in unconventional ways, always acting with a sense of responsibility for the companies and their people.

He taught us that the only question that’s worth asking oneself at the end of every day is whether we have been able to change something for the better, whether we have been able to make a difference.

And Sergio has always made a difference, wherever his work took him and in the lives of so very many people.

Today, that difference can be seen in the culture that he introduced in all the companies he has led, a culture that has become an integral part of each and every one of them.

The succession plans we have just announced, even if not without pain from a personal point of view, mean we can guarantee the maximum possible continuity, preserving our companies’ unique cultures.

It has been my privilege to have had Sergio at my side for all these years.

I would ask everyone for their understanding in these circumstances and to respect Sergio’s privacy and that of those who are dear to him.

[Image: Fiat Chrysler Automobiles]

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38 Comments on “Ferrari Names New CEO As Word of Marchionne’s Health Takes on Ominous Tones...”

  • avatar

    Praying for Mr. Marchionne and his family.

  • avatar
    Big Al from Oz

    I wish Sergio well.

    With the current crop of news pointing to complications with shoulder surgery you wonder if there’s more to the story.

    I do hope all works in Sergio’s favour as he has done well with FCA.

    • 0 avatar

      Yeah, he was a chain-smoker until about a year ago. I do hope he recovers and that it’s not something fatal.

    • 0 avatar

      If he had a shoulder scope and there were complications they were probably airway or anesthesia related. If however he was having a total shoulder replacement (his age suggestes this and not a scope) it is a much bigger surgery. A complication from a total shoulder arthroplasty is devastating and frequently results in mortality.

  • avatar

    get well sir. news can be sketchy. either way, you are a living legend and will go down in automotive history as one of the greats. Lido will outlive all of us. Lutz died years ago.


  • avatar

    Either FCA was covering up some major health problem previously or something went real bad in the post-op. I’m sure the story will come out eventually.

  • avatar
    Brett Woods

    Shocker – Sergio had everything going for him and it looked like the rest of his life was going to b e golden, only to be struck down like with a bolt of lightning. For them to call the end of his work life within 3 weeks of his surgery, the result must have been catastrophic. Even if it had been a massive infection I don’t think the prognosis would be obvious so soon. I am speculating it was a blood clot and there must have been brain damage. Why would you go in for elective surgery on your shoulder? Did he think he was an athlete, and needed to?

    To be replaced by Nexus-6 nicotine king pin who publicly stated that nicotine is “easy to quit”? Thanks, all you guys from the John Player Special years. That most beautiful Lotus! Already as a teenager I knew with my last money I would rather buy that stiff black package than food. Have you tried the new smokes? Oh my! There should be rule, like with German beer, that tobacco can’t be processed with refined additives. But I digress.

    Sergio had a strong hand on the tiller and he was a do’er who demonstrated a passion for motorsport and helped Ferrari and Sauber in F1. He was at the F1 races and making plans and just loving his life. I think he worked his way up from being a line manager in Ajax, Ontario? So sad….

  • avatar
    FWD Donuts

    Terrible news. Didn’t think much of his taking so much of the money Chrysler made to prop up Fiat and build Alfa Romeo — but he did let the folks at Dodge alone and gave them budget to produce some really cool stuff.

    My family recently bought a Jeep Grand Cherokee, two Dodge Challengers, and a Chrysler Pacifica. All are outstanding products.

    After nearly losing my mother to a post op blood clot — this just doesn’t sound good at all. I’m hoping beyond hope for a full recovery for him. And good luck to his replacements at FCA and Ferrari.

  • avatar

    Sergio: “Hi, Louis, hey, John, I’m back! How’s it going?”

    Camilleri: “Uh, Sergio, umm… we didn’t think you were going to make it, so, ah, we fired you while you were still in the hospital. Sorry, man… jeez, this is awkward…”

    • 0 avatar

      I’m sure he is aware of the situation and approved. If he is not aware, then he truly is very ill. Either way, he was stepping down in less than a year anyway, so this change is not unexpected.

  • avatar
    el scotto

    “In the chairman’s seat now sits John Elkann, head of the Agnelli family’s Exor holding company, which holds a controlling stake in FCA and Ferrari.” Please, please, please to infinity +1 include this in any article about FCA. For three reasons: 1. The Agnellis, via Elkann, control FCA. 2. FCA is more than the north American market. 3. The first two points are often woefully ignored on TTAC. Owners of Exor and Ford B stocks control their companies. The haters should go wild over that.

    • 0 avatar

      It is interesting and often overlooked that some very major companies are basically family run – FCA, Ford, Wal-Mart

    • 0 avatar

      Exor doesn’t hold a controlling interest in FCA. The latest disclosure indicates they own about 31% of the company.

      Furthermore, no auto manufacturer is bigger than the North American market, with the exception of VW who have enough volume and profit elsewhere to offset their complete suck in the US and Canada. Why do you think the manufacturers are making threats against the US for tariffs? They rely on the US for a huge chunk of their profits. Americans spend stupid money on new cars, and we don’t have a strong preference for domestic content.

  • avatar

    Sergio was one of the few interesting CEO’s in the auto business. His operations management seemed somewhat average, but his strategic analysis of the market and his understanding of the industrial “big picture” were second to none.

    In my opinion, he also handled merger talk with aplomb, always keeping the idea in the media and spreading rumors to keep the investors on their heels and protect his company, which was dead to rights in the US due to CAFE, from being the victim of a takeover. The lack of information regarding his current health, and its release on the weekend is probably designed to prevent investor panic and declining stock values. Even in his absence, his plans for handling public information still seem to be in place.

    Anyway, I’d like to wish him well, but it sounds like he won’t recover based upon the speed with which his successors have been named. I’m assuming he suffered a stroke, aneurism or something, and the family might be deciding if/when to pull the plug.


    • 0 avatar

      I completely agree, where other automotive CEOs were/are “interesting”, because they are jerks/crazy geniuses/annoying/or just flat out incompetent, Sergio was interesting for his even handed ability to actually run a major automotive manufacturing company while maintaining overall likeability. He will be missed :(

  • avatar

    Nothing in life is guaranteed, even life. Go hug your loved ones.

  • avatar

    “An invasive disease emanating from the prostate had already spread in a devastating manner, but only discovered a short time ago.”

    Sounds like he had undiagnosed prostate cancer that metastasized.

    Same thing happened to my Dad, it was a tough way to go. Of course 40 yrs ago they didn’t have the PSA test.

  • avatar
    Brett Woods

    The Cancer is just MD spin. Cancer that was invasive and compromising would have been found on the pre-op work up. He would have been treated for it before any consideration of shoulder arthroplasty. It’s been reported that he is in a coma and not able to breath for himself and that attempts to wean him from the ventilator were unsuccessful. So it is just a matter of time. If he can’t regain consciousness and breathe without artificial ventilation, the outlook is grim. Sergio was probably thinking he would play a bit of tennis this fall. Instead he stroked out bad. You don’t realize as they’re beaming and reassuring you in the office that almost everyone of these surgeons has someone in intensive care and another that unexpectedly passed away post-op in the previous few months because – complications happen, all the time.

  • avatar
    Carroll Prescott

    Poor Sergio. Trying to make Chrysler into a functional company must have hurt his health. The lineup he had other than Ram and Jeep would send anyone to their grave.

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