Sergio Marchionne, famed CEO of Fiat Chrysler Automobiles, has passed away.
Charismatic wearer of woolen Italian suits, savior of both Fiat and Chrysler, has passed away today at the age of 66. Following complications from shoulder surgery that placed him on medical leave a few weeks ago, he abruptly resigned from his post at FCA. Now, after days of being in a coma at a Swiss hospital, we’ve learned that the 14-year CEO died from those unexpected complication.
John Elkann, President of Fiat and member of the founding Agnelli family, issued a statement this morning. “Unfortunately, what we feared has come to pass. Sergio Marchionne, man and friend, is gone.” Marchionne’s career covered a wide variety of industries, though he was certainly best known for his recent stint in the automotive sector. Most notably, he headed brands including Fiat, Chrysler, Dodge, Jeep, Ram, Maserati and Ferrari. He was instrumental in acquiring Chrysler LLC after its bankruptcy proceedings in 2008. After the company’s emergence from bankruptcy, Marchionne turned the resulting Fiat Chrysler Automobiles into an automotive giant. As it stands, the company continues to grow into one of the world’s most preeminent manufacturers.
He is survived by his family, who reflect on his successful tenure as a businessman and his role as a father. Said Elkann, “I believe that the best way to honor his memory is to build on the legacy he left us, continuing to develop the human values of responsibility and openness of which he was the most ardent champion.”
Mike Manley takes the reins
In his stead, Mike Manley has taken the helm at FCA, formerly standing as the head of Jeep and Ram brands. Sergio Marchionne had originally intended to retire in April 2019, but his recent condition forced FCA’s Board of Directors to name Manley as his replacement with immediate effect. This June, Marchionne laid out a five-year plan for FCA that would invest more resources in the conglomerate’s more profitable brands such as Jeep and Ram. The plan would also see the evolution of the Alfa Romeo and Maserati brands. Now, Manley is responsible for overseeing that plan to fruition as we approach 2022.
Finally, Elkann shared his ultimate reflections on the man and his legacy: “My family and I will be forever grateful for what he has done. Our thoughts are with [Marchionne’s partner] Manuela, and his sons Alessio and Tyler. I would ask again everyone to respect the privacy of Sergio’s family.”
Reporting by Zach Butler and Michael Curtis.