In an announcement sure to cause shockwaves throughout the automotive and investment communities, FCA and Ferrari have said they are under new management.
Mike Manley, 54, head of the Jeep brand, will replace Sergio Marchionne as the interim CEO of Fiat Chrysler Automobiles, pending the board’s approval of Manley as a permanent replacement.
John Elkann, chairman and CEO of Exor, the Agnelli family holding company that controls Ferrari as well as Fiat Chrysler Automobiles, will take over as chairman of the legendary Italian supercar marque. Louis Carey Camilleri, former CEO of Philip Morris, will act as the interim CEO until he can be confirmed by the board of directors.
Rumors of the change began on Friday and were confirmed on Saturday with press releases from FCA and Ferrari.
Elkann and Camilleri replace Sergio Marchionne who is said to be unable to fulfill his duties due to serious health issues.
In a statement, Elkann said: “I am profoundly saddened to learn of Sergio’s state of health. It is a situation that was unthinkable until a few hours ago, and one that leaves us all with a real sense of injustice.”
There were no details of the specifics of the illness or complications.
Marchionne underwent surgery for a shoulder problem in June but there apparently have been serious complications and his condition is described as “declining.” From the tone of the press releases it appears possible that news of Marchionne’s passing could come in the near future.
It has been nearly a month since Marchionne has made a public appearance.
The outspoken and sometimes controversial Marchionne was the architect of the recoveries of Fiat and Chrysler and is said to have increased the value of the companies tenfold. He had planned to retire from Fiat Chrysler in April of next year but planned to stay at Ferrari until 2021.
Bill Cawthon grew up in the auto industry in the 1950s. His Dad worked for Chrysler and Bill spent a number of Saturdays down on the plant floor at Dodge Main in Hamtramck. Bill is also the U.S. market correspondent for just-auto.com, a British auto industry publication, and a member of the Texas Auto Writers Association. You can reach him directly at (206) 888-7324 or by using the site contact form.