Ailing Marchionne replaced by Elkann as Ferrari chairman

Image by Sam Bloxham/LAT

Ailing Marchionne replaced by Elkann as Ferrari chairman

Formula 1

Ailing Marchionne replaced by Elkann as Ferrari chairman


Sergio Marchionne has been replaced as Ferrari chairman due to illness, with John Elkann replacing him with immediate effect.

Having helped turn around the fortunes of Fiat and Chrysler, Marchionne (pictured in 2016) became CEO of Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA) when the two merged in 2014, and then took on the role of Ferrari president from long-time previous incumbent Luca di Montezemolo later that year. However, health issues have seen him replaced by FCA chairman Elkann. Although FCA has not specified the nature of Marchionne’s illness, the company revealed earlier this month that he had undergone surgery on his shoulder.

“The Board of Directors of Ferrari NV learned with deep sadness during its meeting today that Chairman and CEO Sergio Marchionne will be unable to return to work,” a Ferrari statement read. “The Board’s thoughts are with Sergio Marchionne and his family and it is grateful for the extraordinary contribution he has made in recent years at the helm of Ferrari.

“The Board has named John Elkann as chairman and will propose to shareholders, at a meeting to be called in the coming days, that Louis C. Camilleri be named as CEO.

“The Board has also given Louis C. Camilleri the necessary powers to ensure continuity of the company’s operation.”

From a Ferrari point of view the development is significant, with Marchionne having been influential in discussions with Formula 1 owners Liberty Media about the future direction of the sport, while also being central to Alfa Romeo’s return to the sport as title sponsor of Sauber.

While FCA was already in the planning stage for a successor to Marchionne, the health issues mean a new CEO — Mike Manley — has today been named in the position.

“With reference to the health of Sergio Marchionne, Fiat Chrysler Automobiles N.V. communicates with profound sorrow that during the course of this week unexpected complications arose while Mr. Marchionne was recovering from surgery and that these have worsened significantly in recent hours,” a FCA statement read. “As a consequence, Mr. Marchionne will be unable to return to work.

“The Board of Directors of FCA, meeting today, firstly expressed its closeness to Sergio Marchionne and his family and underlined the extraordinary contribution, both human and professional, that he has made to the company in these years.”