23 July, 2018

Marchionne steps down as FCA CEO due to health concerns

Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA) has announced that its CEO Sergio Marchionne has stepped down from his position due to health issues with immediate effect.

Marchionne was due to present FCA’s quarterly results to investors. However, due to complications following shoulder surgery, he has been forced to retire from a role he has held for 14 years. Marchionne has since been admitted to intensive care at a hospital in Italy. Jeep CEO Mike Manley has been appointed as his successor and will present to investors on 25 July.

‘With reference to the health of Sergio Marchionne, Fiat Chrysler Automobiles communicates with profound sorrow that during the course of this week unexpected complications arose while Marchionne was recovering from surgery and that these have worsened significantly in recent hours,’ a statement from the company says. ‘As a consequence, Marchionne will be unable to return to work. 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.’

Manley has seen Jeep’s sales expand rapidly during his time at the helm of the FCA brand, and he was one name considered to take over from Marchionne when he stepped down. Fiat Chrysler said British-born Manley would pursue the strategy that Marchionne outlined in June to keep the world's seventh-largest automaker competitive in the absence of a merger. The manufacturer has pledged to increase production of SUVs and invest in electric and hybrid cars to double operating profit by 2022.

Further movement

The news has created a domino effect within the company, as head of the EMEA region, Alfredo Altavilla will be leaving the Group to pursue other professional interests. Altavilla was also considered to be a possible replacement for Marchionne when he retired. Until a successor is announced, Manley will take responsibility for the EMEA region, with Altavilla working alongside him until August to allow for a smooth transition.  

Global Business Development will also be realigned to report to Richard Palmer, the Group Chief Financial Officer and Chief Operating Officer for Systems and Castings.

Marchionne has also stepped down as Chairman and CEO of Ferrari, with John Elkann taking over as chairman, while former Philip Morris tobacco executive Louis Carey Camilleri is to become the company’s new CEO.

Sergio has always made a difference, wherever his work took him and in the lives of so very many people,’ said Elkaan in a statement. ‘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.’