“It's not easy”
Those were the first words that Luca di Montezemolo stated during his farewell speech to the employees of Ferrari's GT Division.
After Montezemolo's revelation that he will soon leave Ferrari, deeming that the company is "at an end of an era", employees asked management if there would be a farewell meeting and embrace before the departure of the Chairman. In lieu of this, Ferrari decided to hold a special event for outgoing Chairman Montezemolo.
Two thousand people gathered at the Maranello factory Wednesday afternoon and the event started with two short introductory speeches by Vice-Chairman Piero Ferrari and CEO Amedeo Felisia. It was then followed by a film that documented Montezemolo's 23 year run with the company and was accompanied by the soundtrack from Gino Paoli entitled "Una lunga storia d'amore" (An Enduring Love Story).
Luca di Montezemolo then took to the stage and addressed the importance of the Maranello workers several times.
"You are the power behind Ferrari, the most beautiful company in the world. You are the real architects of its triumphs. You are Ferrari," said Montezemolo.
The Ferrari Chariman also added that he was very proud to be a part of the workforce and had lived through the years with them.
"The future for Ferrari, which builds not cars but dreams, will remain bright because all of you are here," Montezemolo reiterated.
After the Chairman's goodbye address, droves of Ferrari employees joined him on stage for a symbolic embrace. As Montezemolo was about to leave, he was greeted by admirers and fans alike that wanted to say their personal goodbyes. They shook his hand, took a picture with him and expressed their affection and respect for Montezemolo and his "enduring love story" with Ferrari.