Thursday, 16 August, 2018

A closer look at Sergio Marchionne's life and career

Cristina Norman | 25 July, 2018, 19:46

Sergio Marchionne, the former Chairman and CEO of Ferrari, has died in hospital at the age of 66.

His death was confirmed Wednesday by Exor NV, the holding company of Fiat's founding Agnelli family, just days after Marchionne was replaced as CEO.

Its chief executive John Elkann said: "Unfortunately, what we feared has come to pass. Sergio Marchionne, man and friend, is gone".

Sergio Marchionne, the freewheeling turnaround artist who architected and brokered the revival of Fiat and Chrysler, has died.

Marchionne suffered an embolism while undergoing an operation for an invasive shoulder sarcoma and suffered irreversible damage to his brain function, an Italian business website reported Tuesday. He was 66. Just days ago, he stepped down from his role leading one of the world's largest auto companies due to health problems. It also claims that Marchionne is now being kept alive only by machines, and that doctors said there was no hope of recovery.

Marchionne was born on June 17, 1952, in Chieti, a hilltop town near the Adriatic sea in central Italy.

Marchionne's ill-health was thrust into the spotlight last Saturday when it was announced he would be unable to return to work as a result of complications following surgery.

The timing of his death is especially tragic given his plans to hand over the reins of Fiat and Ferrari to a hand-picked successor next year, having been working behind the scenes for some time on a masterplan for the Prancing Horse's future.

In 2009, he presided over Fiat's merger with Chrysler, which was then the number three carmaker in the US.

Marchionne took over as the boss of Fiat in 2004 and was widely credited with rejuvenating its fortunes, and that of Chrysler, becoming a powerful figure within the automotive industry. At the time, the company had been on the brink of bankruptcy. He is survived by his partner, Manuela Battezzato, and two adult sons, Alessio and Tyler.

Marchionne, a workaholic who often slept on a sofa aboard a plane as he traveled regularly to steer Fiat Chrysler, was a heavy smoker and espresso drinker until quitting both about a year ago.

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