Former Fiat Chrysler CEO Sergio Marchionne passes away at 66

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Sergio Marchionne: 1952-2018

Earlier this week, former Fiat-Chrysler CEO Sergio Marchionne underwent surgery for his shoulder. Unfortunately, complications from the surgery arose and has been in a comatose state since Monday. It has now been confirmed by new FCA chairman, John Elkmann, that Marchionne has passed away today.

Marchionne was 66 years old. Prior to his death, Marchionne announced his retirement on July 21, 2018. FCA board has decided to appoint Jeep and Ram head Mike Manley as its new CEO. His last public appearance was during the turnover of the all-new Jeep Wrangler diesel to the Carabinieri, Italy's military police force.

Born on June 17, 1952, Marchionne spent his youth in Chieti, Abruzzo, Italy. Their family later moved to Toronto, Ontario, Canada and became a certified general accountant and lawyer. Marchionne worked for risk-assesment companies, as well as chemical and metal work firms. He wasn't involved in the automotive sector until 2003, when he joined Fiat. A year later, he was appointed as CEO.

The executive would be the man behind Fiat aquiring Chrysler in 2009 to form Fiat Chyrsler Automobiles and began to turn around the two automakers. Industry pundits have mentioned that Marchionne's efforts have brought Chrysler and Fiat from the brink along with Alfa Romeo.

Marchionne, along with Mike Manley, is also credited for leading Jeep to being FCA's top-selling marque. Marchionne also served as the CEO of Ferrari, as well as the chairman of Maserati. He also had significant input in Alfa Romeo.

Under his leadership, Fiat returned to the US market while the company's performance division, SRT, spawned the Hellcat versions Charger and Challenger. Jeep's product porfolio expanded and Alfa Romeo saw two, all-new models, namely the Guilia executive (D-segment) sedan and the Stelvio crossover.

Official statement from FCA Chairman, John Elkann:

“Unfortunately, what we feared has come to pass. Sergio Marchionne, man and friend, is gone.

"I believe that the best way to honor his memory is to build on the legacy he left us, continuing to develop the human values of responsibility and openness of which he was the most ardent champion.

"My family and I will be forever grateful for what he has done. Our thoughts are with Manuela, and his sons Alessio and Tyler.

"I would ask again everyone to respect the privacy of Sergio’s family.”

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