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Marchionne passes away

NEWS STORY
25/07/2018

Just days after it was announced that he was stepping down as FCA chairman and Ferrari president, Sergio Marchionne has passed away aged 66.

While the tone of the speeches following Saturday's meetings indicated that there was grave concern at his health, few expected it to be this bad, this soon.

Born in Chieti in Italy in 1952, his family subsequently moved to Canada when Sergio was 14.

Retaining dual Canadian and Italian citizenship, Marchionne, who qualified as a chartered accountant and attorney, began his career with Deloitte & Touche. He then joined Swiss chemical and pharmaceutical company Alusuisse Lonza rising to the position of CEO.

In his role as CEO at Alusuisse, much like he was later to do with Ferrari and Fiat Chrysler, he spun off the drug business to create Lonza Group AG.

Tripling profits in just three years, he subsequently turned around the fortunes of SGS SA, a Swiss product-testing company controlled by the Agnelli family.

In 2004, he was appointed CEO of Fiat SpA and over the next decade took the Italian manufacturer from near extinction to the New York Stock Exchange, Fiat having bought the equally underperforming Chrysler to form Fiat Chrysler Automobiles.

In his roles with both Fiat Chrysler and Ferrari, he was never far from controversy, and never shirked from the fight that might follow.

A famously hardnosed negotiator, and tough in the boardroom, albeit eschewing the traditional suit and tie for jeans and a sweater, his quest in taking companies from the brink of bankruptcy and turning them into financial powerhouses saw him exercise a savage 'lean and mean' policy that resulted in thousands of redundancies both at management level and on the shop floor.

Away from the boardroom he pushed equally hard, and enjoyed spending private time with his collection of cars - including a number of Ferraris - which he often pushed to the limit... and then some.

A fierce critic of Liberty Media's plans for the sport in terms of engine rules which he said diluted its very DNA, and his opposition to plans to change the financial structure of F1 and introduce a budget cap, he threatened to take Ferrari out of the sport.

While this was a threat made many times during the legendary Italian team's long history, somehow, coming from Marchionne, it seemed more feasible.

In a brief statement, Fiat chairman, John Elkann, said: "Sergio Marchionne, man and friend, is gone. My family and I will be forever grateful for what he has done."

To his partner, Manuela, his wife Orlandina, and children, Alessio and Jonathan, Pitpass, on behalf of its readers offers its sincere condolences.

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READERS COMMENTS

 

1. Posted by Fambank, 25/07/2018 19:02

"Rest in peace. I hope the F1 team will find strength and guidance in the values
this man stood for, and bring home a WDC and WCC, and dedicate it to him."

Rating: Positive (2)     Rate comment: Positive | NegativeReport this comment

2. Posted by Trixi, 25/07/2018 13:53

"Gone too soon. "

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3. Posted by Ro, 25/07/2018 13:36

"What a shame. Great man. RIP
"

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4. Posted by Greg, 25/07/2018 13:05

"riposare in pace"

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5. Posted by Max Noble, 25/07/2018 12:30

"Strength and honour.
Remember him as a fine man.
Peace to his family and loved ones. "

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