FCA group has made some major announcements overnight as a consequence of Sergio Marchionne suffering post-operative complications that have negatively affected his chances of recovery from a shoulder operation earlier in the month.
The turn of events were quite rapid as FCA’s board of directors met in an emergency session on Saturday, and “resolved to fast track the CEO transition process that has been proceeding over the past months and named Mike Manley as CEO. The board will propose in the next shareholder meeting in a few days to elect Manning to the board so that he can serve as an executive director of the company.”
Meanwhile, Manley has been granted “with immediate effect” all the powers of CEO. The company’s NAFTA region operations will also fall under his control.
Mike Manley has been the head of Jeep since July, 2009, and has been responsible for the global growth for the brand. Besides Jeep, he was also in charge of the Ram truck brand from 2015. Both brands have grown to become widely viewed as the financial engines of FCA and the company’s most valuable assets.
Sergio Marchionne merged Fiat and Chrysler after the 2008-09 financial crisis and the bailout and bankruptcy of the Detroit company. He later became CEO of Ferrari and staged successful IPOs of both automakers. Marchionne, 66, was to retire in 2019.
Meanwhile luxury car brand Ferrari also announced similar moves with Chrysler executive John Elkann being made chairman while Louis C Camilleri will be proposed as CEO in a shareholder meeting to be held in the coming few days.
John Elkann said, “I am profoundly saddened to learn of Sergio’s state of health. It is a situation that was unthinkable until a few hours ago, and one that leaves us all with a real sense of injustice. My first thoughts go to Sergio and his family. What struck me about Sergio from the very beginning, when we met to talk about the possibility of him coming to work for the Group, even more than his management skills and unusual intelligence, were his human qualities, his generosity and the way he understood people. Over the past 14 years together we have lived through successes and difficulties, internal and external crises, but also unique and unrepeatable moments, both personal and professional.”
All indications from the collective actions of the group point towards either a long-term health issue or worse. We will keep track of this.
News reports confirm that Sergio Marchionne has died aged 66 at a Zurich hospital where he was being treated for post operative complications from a shoulder operation.