Manley takes over FCA helm as Marchionne’s health worsens
In a recent development that deeply shocked the automotive industry across the globe, Fiat Chrysler Automotive (FCA) has announced that Sergio Marchionne will be stepping down as the company’s CEO, and will be replaced by Mike Manley, who currently leads the Jeep brand.
Marchionne, 66, who many equate as the automotive industry’s Steve Jobs, is considered a legend and an exemplary leader. Ever since he took over as CEO, he was instrumental in strengthening the FCA group by bringing together all its companies to work seamlessly together. This didn’t just translate in record sales for the group companies, it also elevated FCA’s position in the global auto industry.
Marchionne is also widely credited for rescuing Chrysler post the financial crisis, when the American marquee was an all-time low. Known for his signature black sweater and long work hours, Marchionne is often identified as one of the most charismatic CEOs of the auto industry.
According to the statement that FCA released, during the course of this week unexpected complications arose while Marchionne was recovering from surgery and that these have worsened significantly in recent hours.
“The Board resolved to accelerate the CEO transition process that has been proceeding over the past months and named Mike Manley as CEO. The Board will therefore propose to the next Shareholder Meeting, to be called in the coming days, that he be elected to the Board and serve as an executive director of the Company,” the statement read.
“In the meantime, in order to provide for his full authority and operational continuity for the company, the Board has with immediate effect granted Mr. Manley all the powers of CEO. He will also assume responsibility for the NAFTA region.
“Mr. Manley and his management team will proceed with the implementation of the 2018 – 2022 Business Plan as presented on June 1 of this year, a plan that will further assure FCA’s strong and independent future.”
Marchionne will also be stepping down as Chairman and CEO of Ferrari. John Elkann, a member of the Agnelli family that founded Fiat in 1899, will succeed him as Ferrari’s Chairman. Elkann, who is also the Chairman of FCA, said: “My first thoughts go to Sergio and his family” in his statement to the press, adding that he’s “profoundly saddened” by Marchionne’s deteriorating health.
Over the past 14 years together we have lived through successes and difficulties, internal and external crises, but also unique and unrepeatable moments, both personal and professional,” he said.
Marchionne is currently believed to be in the intensive care unit of a clinic at the University of Zurich, where his condition is still termed to be “very serious”. Reports say that his two sons and partner of several years, Manuela Battezzato, who works in FCA communications, continue to be with him at this time.
On behalf of everyone at Three6Zero, our thoughts are with Mr Marchionne and his family.
Simon Duval Smith
Global News Editor:
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