Fiat Chrysler names new CEO to replace ailing Marchionne

Virginia Carson
July 23, 2018

Marchionne was appointed as CEO in 2004.

CNH Industrial, which Marchionne also chairs, named Suzanna Heywood, as his replacement.

Altavilla, 54, was a close aide to Marchionne, having overseen Fiat Chrysler operations across the globe. Fiat Chrysler said Marchionne, 66, is "unable to return to work" due to his health.

An FCA Group statement said: "During the course of this week, unexpected complications arose when Mr Marchionne was recovering from surgery and these have worsened significantly in recent hours".

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Analysts questioned whether new CEO Louis Camilleri would be able to do the same and grow Ferrari beyond what it is today while keeping dealers, racing fans, owners and collectors on board.

The three boards were summoned to separate meetings in Turin on Saturday, July 21 amid the prolonged convalescence of Marchionne, who had shoulder surgery three weeks ago in Switzerland. He's been heading the Jeep brand since 2009 and has also been running RAM and FCA in the Asia Pacific region.

Jeep division head Manley was named on Saturday to succeed Marchionne as CEO of Fiat Chrysler.

Fiat Chrysler's (FCHA.MI) European boss has quit, adding to the problems facing new CEO Mike Manley who must deliver on promises to boost production of SUVs and catch up with rivals in electric cars. Already, the Jeep and Ram vehicles he oversaw were responsible for 67 percent of total US volume in 2017, according to Bloomberg Intelligence. Marchionne has stated in the past his desire to step down as FCA CEO sometime in 2019. Most recently, Hyundai has been mooted as a potential candidate, although Fiat Chrysler denied any talks were taking place.

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CNBC has a letter sent out by company president John Elkann to employees breaking the news, one he calls "without a doubt the most difficult" he's ever written.

Ferrari announced that Louis Camilleri, an Egypt-born Maltese and longtime executive at tobacco company Philip Morris International, would replace Marchionne as CEO of the sports auto maker. "We expect continuity." But he also expressed concern that Fiat Chrysler's success has been linked to Marchionne's ability to shift strategy to meet targets. CNH Industrial declined 2.9 percent, while Exor, the holding company of Fiat's founding Agnelli family, was down 4 percent.

The passenger-car brands of Fiat and Chrysler have been less profitable.

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