Former Fiat Chrysler chief executive Sergio Marchionne, one the auto industry’s most respected leaders, has died following complications after surgery on his shoulder.
“Unfortunately, what we feared has come to pass. Sergio Marchionne, man and friend, is gone,” FCA Chairman John Elkann said in a statement.
The world’s seventh-largest car-maker said on Saturday that the highly regarded Mr Marchionne, 66, had been forced to step down as he was seriously ill in a Zurich hospital.
Mr Marchionne, who was born in Italy but who held joint Italian-Canadian citizenship, is one of the industry’s most revered figures after rescuing Fiat, Italy’s biggest industrial combine, from near-bankruptcy in 2003-2004.
This entailed plant closures and many thousands of job losses but Fiat emerged as a stronger business and one that, after making a loss of €8.3bn in 2003, was also profitable.
“The best way to honour his memory is to build on the legacy he left us, continuing to develop the human values of responsibility and openness of which he was the most ardent champion,” said Mr Elkann, scion of the controlling Agnelli family.
“My family and I will be forever grateful for what he has done. Our thoughts are with Manuela, and his sons Alessio and Tyler.”
In 2009, Mr Marchionne was picked by the US government to save Chrysler from bankruptcy protection after being owned by a private equity company.
The manager was known for his plain-speaking style and his trademark dark cashmere sweaters no matter the occasion.
His sudden death shocked many in Italy and beyond, with many paying generous tribute to a man who restored confidence to the country’s manufacturing.
“Marchionne wrote an important page in the history of Italian industry,” said Italian President Sergio Mattarella.
Bill Ford, executive chairman of Ford Motor Co, paid tribute to his “extraordinary leadership, candour and passion for the industry”.
After adding the title of Ferrari president to his responsibilities in 2014, Mr Marchionne became one of F1’s most influential figures too.
F1 chairman Chase Carey said: “We are deeply saddened by the passing of Sergio Marchionne. He was a great leader of not just Formula 1 and the automobile world, but the business world overall.
“He led with great passion, energy and insight, and inspired all around him. His contributions to Formula 1 are immeasurable. He was also a true friend to all of us and he will be deeply missed.”
Toto Wolff, Mercedes team principal, said: “We have lost a huge supporter of our sport, a fierce competitor, an ally and a friend.”
“This is a sad day for all of us in @F1. We have a lost a huge supporter of our sport, a fierce competitor, an ally and a friend. Our heartfelt sympathies are with Sergio’s family and all at @ScuderiaFerrari at this difficult time.”
– Toto Wolff pic.twitter.com/LddZsUa4cI
— Mercedes-AMG F1 (@MercedesAMGF1) July 25, 2018
Mike Manley, a 54-year old British citizen, was given the tough job of succeeding Marchionne as chief executive of Fiat Chrysler.
From – SkyNews