Sergio Marchionne, the man who saved Fiat and Chrysler, dies at 66

25 July, 2018, 19:46 | Author: Kathy Ellis

Former Ferrari chief executive and chairman Sergio Marchionne has died.

Its chief executive John Elkann said: "Unfortunately, what we feared has come to pass. Sergio Marchionne, man and friend, is gone".

"Marchionne wrote an important page in the history of Italian industry".

"I don't care what a tough guy he was to work for, he saved our company", said Cass Burch, a Chrysler and Jeep dealer in Georgia.

"Sergio created a remarkable legacy in the automotive industry", Mary Barra, chairman and CEO of General Motors said in a statement.

The scramble to replace Marchionne led to the resignation of a senior executive who was passed over for the top job, the people said, and exposed fissures between the Italian and North American sides of the world's seventh-largest automaker.

Born in Italy, Marchionne's family emigrated to Canada when he was 13, and he had dual-citizenship.

First news of complications with the surgery emerged on 21 July 2018, when Fiat-Chrysler and Ferrari both announced that Marchionne had been replaced in all of his positions by Brit Mike Manley.

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The family's heir and company chairman Elkann, hired Marchionne at a time when Fiat had faced several years of significant losses.

Marchionne resurrected one of Italy's biggest corporate names and revitalized Chrysler, succeeding where the USA company's two previous owners - Mercedes parent Daimler and private equity group Carberus - both had failed.

An accountant and lawyer by training, Mr Marchionne joined Fiat in 2004 after the death of its patriarch Gianni Agnelli.

Former Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi: "With Sergio Marchionne, Italy loses not only the most brilliant of its managers, but one of the symbolic figures of our country". He was due to step down at Fiat Chrysler in April 2019.

The 66-year-old 'fixer, ' as he had become known, had an operation on his right shoulder last week.

Mr Marchionne was seen as the driving force behind Fiat-Chrysler's growth.

Marchionne is survived by his partner Manuela and sons Alessio and Jonathan.

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