Sergio Marchionne Dead At 66

Sergio Marchionne 1 photo
Photo: FCA
After stepping down from the role of chief executive officer of Fiat Chrysler Automobiles and Ferrari, the ailing health of Sergio Marchionne took a turn for the worse. It is with great sadness that we report the passing of the 66-year-old official of Italian-Canadian background, who died earlier today at the Zurich University Hospital in Switzerland.
“Unfortunately, what we feared has come to pass. Sergio Marchionne, man and friend, is gone,” declared John Elkann on behalf of Exor N.V., the holding company incorporated in the Netherlands and controlled by the Agnelli family. "My family and I will be forever grateful for what he has done. Our thoughts are with Manuela, and his sons Alessio and Tyler,” concluded the grandson of Italian industrialist Gianni Agnelli, who holds the reins to Fiat Chrysler through Exor.

Despite his sometimes dubious comments and passion for wearing sweaters, Marchionne is the man who saved Chrysler from bankruptcy in 2009. Following the mess known as Daimler Chrysler, the American automaker was merged with Fiat, thus entering a new era of increased profitability and synergies.

Sergio was supposed to retire from FCA in April 2019 right after the conclusion of the 2014 to 2018 business plan, but he became ill after a shoulder surgery operated at the end of June. Fiat Chrysler’s corporate directors appointed Mike Manley as the successor, moving to this role after heading Jeep and Ram Trucks.

In spite of his blunt tongue in the presence of automotive media, Marchionne turned Chrysler (and Fiat) around with the help of aggressive plans rooted in his experience with accounting. Add tax specialist, business strategist, and attorney to this long list of aptitudes, and you’ll understand why a man such as Sergio managed to perform so well in these past 14 years of reign.

The chief instigator of the Big Three in Detroit will be remembered for moving boldly through highs and lows, betting it all while minimizing risk as much as possible. The legacy of Marchionne will live through the newly released five-year plan presented at the Capital Markets Day 2018 on June 1st, 2018, which will see Fiat Chrysler invest no less than $10.5 billion in electric and hybrid vehicle technology.
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About the author: Mircea Panait
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After a 1:43 scale model of a Ferrari 250 GTO sparked Mircea's interest for cars when he was a kid, an early internship at Top Gear sealed his career path. He's most interested in muscle cars and American trucks, but he takes a passing interest in quirky kei cars as well.
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