Fiat Chrysler CEO Sergio Marchionne replaced due to illness | News | DW | 21.07.2018
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Fiat Chrysler CEO Sergio Marchionne replaced due to illness

Chrysler CEO Sergio Marchionne's health has suddenly deteriorated after surgery in Switzerland and the board of directors has replaced him. Sportscar maker Ferrari also announced a new CEO and chairman.

Fiat Chrysler Automobiles announced Saturday that CEO Sergio Marchionne's health had suddenly deteriorated following surgery and that its board of directors had picked Jeep executive Mike Manley to replace him.

Fiat Chrysler said in a statement that due to his deteriorating health. Marchionne "will be unable to return to work."

Marchionne, a 66-year-old Italian-Canadian, joined Fiat in 2004 and led the Turin-based company's merger with bankrupt US carmaker Chrysler.

Manley, 54, had been heading the Jeep brand since June 2009 and the Ram brand from October 2015.

The announcement, made at the end of an rapidly convened board meeting, marks the end of the Marchionne era, which included managing the turnaround of failing Fiat, the takeover of Chrysler and spinning off the heavy machinery and truckmaker CNH and sportscar maker Ferrari.

Marchionne, 66, had already announced that he would step down in early 2019, so the board's decision, which will be confirmed at an upcoming shareholders' meeting, will just "accelerate" the CEO transition process, the statement said.

'Profoundly saddened'

Marchionne was reported to have had surgery for a shoulder problem about three weeks ago in Switzerland.

Fiat is considered a close-knit family, and FCA chairman John Elkann said he was "profoundly saddened to learn of Sergio's state of health." 

"It was a situation that was unthinkable until a few hours ago, and leaves us all with a sense of injustice," he added. 

 Meanwhile, Ferrari, where Marchionne had been both chairman and CEO, announced on Saturday that he had been replaced as chairman by Elkann, a scion of Italy's Agnelli family.

John Elkann (picture-alliance/AP Photo/M. Lennihan)

Elkann is also chairman and CEO of Exor

Ferrari board member Louis Camilleri, a longtime executive at Philip Morris International, the tobacco company, is set meanwhile to take over as chief executive at the carmaker.  

Marchionne, who is also a lawyer, is known for sleeping only briefly each night. He was holding multiple leadership roles in the companies.

CNH Industrial, of which Marchionne was also the chairman, has named Suzanna Heywood to replace him.

av/tj (AP, dpa, Reuters)

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