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Fiat Chrysler Automobiles chief Sergio Marchionne steps down due to health concern

In light of Mr Marchionne's health deterioration, FCA accelerated the CEO transition process and gave Mike Manley the top job.

Fiat Chrysler Automobies (FCA) this week released a statement revealing that its chief executive officer, Sergio Marchionne, will no longer be able to head the company due to health issues.

In the statement, FCA explained that unexpected complications arose while Marchionne was recovering from surgery, though it did not reveal further details about his condition.

With Marchionne forced to step down, the FCA board of directors named Mike Manley as its new chief executive officer, and will move to elect him as an executive director of the company in the coming days.

Manley was immediately granted “all the powers of CEO”, assuming responsibility for all areas under the North American Free Trade Agreement.

FCA also announced that former Phillip Morris International CEO Louis Camilleri will fill Mr Marchionne’s shoes as Ferrari boss, while FCA chairman John Elkann will also add Ferrari chairman to his responsibilities.

Mr Elkann, who worked closely with the former FCA boss, released a statement expressing his grief for Mr Marchionne and his family, as well as his admiration for the man himself.

The FCA board of directors named Mike Manley as its new chief executive officer, and will move to elect him as an executive director of the company in the coming days.

“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,” he said.

“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”

“Today, that difference can be seen in the culture that he introduced in all the companies he has led, a culture that has become an integral part of each and every one of them.”

Mr Elkann also said that while the swift introduction of replacements comes with difficulty, it will guarantee the transition moves as smoothly as possible.

“The succession plans we have just announced, even if not without pain from a personal point of view, mean we can guarantee the maximum possible continuity, preserving our companies’ unique cultures”, he said.

Mr Marchionne became Fiat CEO in 2004, returning the Italian brand to profitability in two years.

In 2009, Fiat acquired Chrysler amid the global financial crisis before the two companies were merged in 2014 to form FCA.

Other brands in the FCA umbrella include Alfa Romeo, Jeep, Ram, Maserati and Dodge.

Mr Marchionne announced FCA’s five-year plan in June, with a focus on increasing Alfa Romeo, Jeep, Ram and Maserati sales through the introduction of new models and electrified powertrains.

Do you think Mike Manley is the right man for the top job? Let us know your thoughts in the comment section below.

Spencer Leech
Contributing Journalist
It's little surprise that Spencer pursued a career in motoring journalism; a born car and motorcycle tragic coming from a long line of typesetters and writers. In short, it was meant to be. He cut his teeth in the automotive industry freelancing as a writer and photographer for titles including Wheels, Unique Cars, Street Machine and Carsales, before filling editorship roles at Australian Road Rider and GoAutoMedia. Spencer contributes regularly to Carsguide, sometimes corresponding from far corners of the globe. By night, he shreds the synthesizer in a little-known Melbourne rock band called Midnight Medley.  
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