Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA), Ferrari, and CNH Industrials have announced Sergio Marchionne “will be unable to return to work” due to his worsening health condition due to complications from surgery.
Marchionne, 66, is considered an automotive industry legend and is widely credited for reviving Chrysler post-US financial crisis. The hardworking chief executive has been known to work long hours and is usually seen wearing a black sweater in lieu of a suit.
The FCA board has decided to appoint Jeep and Ram head Mike Manley as its new CEO. He is credited with the sucess of both brands which are the cash cows of the FCA group.
Official FCA announcement:
"The Board of Directors of FCA, meeting today, firstly expressed its closeness to Sergio Marchionne and his family and underlined the extraordinary contribution, both human and professional, that he has made to the Company in these years.
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.
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."
Ferrari has erstwhile appointed Exor CEO John Elkann as its new Chairman, and Philip Morris Chairman Louis Camilleri as its new CEO. The pair are expected to be confirmed their new positions at Ferrari's upcoming shareholders meeting.
Official Ferrari announcement:
"The Board’s thoughts are with Sergio Marchionne and his family and it is grateful for the extraordinary contribution he has made in recent years at the helm of Ferrari.
The Board has named John Elkann as Chairman and will propose to Shareholders, at a meeting to be called in the coming days, that Louis C. Camilleri be named as CEO."
Another position vacated by Marchionne was as Chairman of truck and tractor maker CNH Industrials. CNH is the holding company of Case IH, New Holland Agriculture and Steyr for tractors and agricultural machinery; Case and New Holland Construction for earth moving equipment; Iveco for commercial vehicles; Iveco Bus and Heuliez Bus for buses and coaches; Iveco Astra for quarry and construction vehicles; Magirus for firefighting vehicles; Iveco Defence Vehicles for defence and civil protection; and FPT Industrial for engines and transmissions.
Appointed as the new Chairman of CNH was Exor Managing Director Suzanne Heywood. Derek Neilson will continue, in his role as the company's Interim CEO.
Official CNH announcement:
"The Board of Directors of CNH Industrial meeting today noted with deep regret that Chairman Sergio Marchionne will be unable to return to work. The Board has therefore named Suzanne Heywood as Chairman.
The Board will continue the process that is already under way to select a new CEO. In the meantime Derek Neilson will continue."
Exor Chairman John Elkann's official statement:
"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.
My first thoughts go to Sergio and his family.What struck me about Sergio from the very beginning, when we met to talk about the possibility of him coming to work for the Group, even more than his management skills and unusual intelligence, were his human qualities, his generosity and the way he understood people.
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.
For so many, Sergio has been an enlightened leader and a matchless point of reference.
For me, he has been someone with whom to share thoughts and in whom to trust, a mentor and above all a true friend.
He taught us to think differently and to have the courage to change, often in unconventional ways, always acting with a sense of responsibility for the companies and their people.
He taught us that the only question that’s worth asking oneself at the end of every day is whether we have been able to change something for the better, whether we have been able to make a difference.
And Sergio has always made a difference, wherever his work took him and in the lives of so very many people.
Today, that difference can be seen in the culture that he introduced in all the companies he has led, a culture that has become an integral part of each and every one of them.
The succession plans we have just announced, even if not without pain from a personal point of view, mean we can guarantee the maximum possible continuity, preserving our companies’ unique cultures.
It has been my privilege to have had Sergio at my side for all these years.
I would ask everyone for their understanding in these circumstances and to respect Sergio’s privacy and that of those who are dear to him."