Tuesday, 21 August, 2018

Sergio Marchionne, turnaround virtuoso who built Fiat Chrysler, dies at 66

Scott Davis | 25 July, 2018, 19:42

Lettera43, in a report Tuesday citing anonymous sources, said Marchionne, 66, had been diagnosed "long ago" with the invasive shoulder sarcoma - a malignant form of cancer that can develop in the body's soft tissue - and "expressed some doubts" about the effectiveness of the high-risk operation he underwent at the University of Zurich in late June.

Marchionne was a powerful advocate for the automaker's Italian cars and brands, and said he would not restructure the company to leave a "stump" company in Italy that could not survive.

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

Chase Carey, the chief executive of F1, described Mr Marchionne as "a great leader", both for the sport and in business world generally.

"We are deeply saddened by the passing of Sergio Marchionne", he added.

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

Marchionne joined Fiat in 2004 and led the Turin-based company's merger with bankrupt USA carmaker Chrysler.




Under the best of circumstances, Marchionne's pending departure presented Fiat Chrysler with a major void to fill.

Elkann originally hired Marchionne in 2003 to serve as a boardmember and then CEO of Fiat, which at the time had just lost $7 billion.

And the Italian passed away on Wednesday, John Elkann, his replacement as chairman, confirmed.

Jetting between the company's offices and design studios in Europe and the United States, Marchionne dominated Fiat Chrysler, eclipsing the executives under him. He later consolidated his reputation as a turnaround specialist at SGS SA, a Geneva-based product-testing company at the time controlled by the Agnelli family.

Marchionne had been planning to step down from FCA next year.

It was an improbable career that saw a young Italian immigrant in Canada go to college, become an accountant and, years later, arrive seemingly out of nowhere in European corporate circles to first save Fiat Group and later use Chrysler's strengths in light trucks to forge the combined Italian-American company into a true global automaker.

He leaves behind his partner, Manuela Battezzato, who works in FCA's press office, along with two children, Alessio and Tyler, from estranged wife Orlandina.

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