Fiat Chrysler CEO Sergio Marchionne replaced due to illness

Kristopher Nichols
July 25, 2018

The Italian-American carmaker said the British-born Manley, 54, is taking over immediately from FCA Chief Executive Sergio Marchionne, 66, who is seriously ill after suffering major complications following surgery.

The board of CNH on Saturday named Suzanne Heywood as chairwoman, tapping a managing director of the Fiat-founding Agnelli family's Exor investment holding company.

It is the Jeep brand that has been the big contributor to the company's profits. Ferrari's Board named Elkann as new Chairman to replace Marchionne.

Marchionne had planned to step down as CEO early in 2019.

The report, citing unnamed sources familiar with the matter, also said Louis Carey Camilleri, a Ferrari board member and former chairman of Philip Morris International, would be named Ferrari's chief executive.

According to the company, Manley was already in the process of transitioning to the position of CEO and the recent development merely required an acceleration of the handover and confirmation of Marchionne's successor.

On Friday, FCA denied a report by Italian website Lettera43 that Elkann had summoned top executives to a meeting on Saturday in order to reassign Marchionne's responsibilities.

According to Reuters, Marchionne had meant to remain as Chairman and CEO of Ferrari until 2021.

Marchionne and Manley
Marchionne has watched Jeep and Ram grow under Mike Manley's leadership

Elkann didn't give details of Marchionne's health problems, adding that his "first thoughts go to Sergio and his family".

"This is a very important person for Formula 1", said Mercedes team principal Toto Wolff.

Marchionne helped navigate FCA through bankruptcy during his 14-year tenure and turn the company's finances back from the brink of collapse.

Marchionne, 66, a native of Chieti, Italy, wont return to the Italian-American automaker or at race vehicle manufacturer Ferrari NV after he has been out for several weeks for a health matter, FCA says.

A Fiat Chrysler spokesman confirmed Marchionne was in Zurich's University Hospital, one of the country's largest medical centers.

A statement released by FCA outlined "profound sorrow" felt by key leadership following his illness, underlining the "extraordinary contribution, both human and professional, that he has made to the Company in these years".

The FCA Group recently unveiled its five-year business plan running until 2022, focusing on the Alfa Romeo, Maserati, Jeep and Ram brands.

The La Stampa daily, the hometown newspaper of Fiat's headquarters city, Turin, where the boards were summoned to separate meetings, said the huddles were called to discuss who would succeed Marchionne.

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