Published: Mon, July 23, 2018
Sports | By Sarah Myers

John Elkann Appointed Chairman Of Ferrari, Replaces Sergio Marchionne

John Elkann Appointed Chairman Of Ferrari, Replaces Sergio Marchionne

Following a sudden deterioration of Sergio Marchionne's health this weekend, Fiat Chrysler and Ferrari have confirmed changes at the helm of the two companies.

Sergio Marchionne, longtime CEO and chief for Fiat Chrysler Automobiles, stepped down Saturday due to serious complications after surgery, the company announced.

"The Board of Directors of Ferrari NV learned with deep sadness during its meeting today that Chairman and CEO Sergio Marchionne will be unable to return to work", a Ferrari statement read.

A proposal has been put forward for Mike Manley, head of the Jeep company, to be proposed as the new Fiat CEO at the next shareholder's meeting.

Marchionne has run Fiat for 14 years, and in that time turned the struggling Italian automaker around and hitched its fortunes to then-bankrupt Chrysler, itself fresh off the disastrous marriage to Daimler and a rough stint at the hands of private equity behemoth Cerberus. As CEO, Marchionne has led FCA through multiple plans for profitability, which the automaker has largely delivered on, and spun off Ferrari as a successful standalone business unit.

FCA didn't give details about Marchionne's medical condition after surgery three weeks ago, but questions arose after it appeared his recovery was taking longer than expected.

Manley had worked as DaimlerChrysler's head of network development in Britain since 2000, having earlier worked for several years in vehicle dealership. "It is a situation that was unthinkable until a few hours ago, and one that leaves us all with a real sense of injustice", Elkann said in a statement. Since taking over, he has overseen the growth of Jeep in the United States and is responsible for the brand's big push into the European market. Analysts estimate that Jeep alone could be worth the entire $30 billion market value of Fiat Chrysler. He also heads Ram, the American pick-up truck brand.

Adding that his "first thoughts go to Sergio and his family", Elkann asked everyone to respect Marchionne's "privacy and that of all those who are dear to him".

CNH Industrial said its interim CEO, Derek Neilson, will continue on pending the selection of a permanent replacement for Marchionne. Fiat started with a 20 per cent stake rising to 58 per cent in 2012 and in 2014 it bought the remaining shares from the UAW creating a wholly-owned subsidiary, and later that year merged both companies into the FCA.

The brand also grew internationally, especially in China, under Manley.

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