News just in, Mike Manley has replaced Sergio Marchionne as FCA boss, after the latter was said to be unable to resume work due to serious complications following a surgery.
66-year-old Marchionne has been CEO of Fiat since 2004 and has headed up the FCA Group since Fiat and Chrysler’s merger in 2011. Marchionne was due to step down as CEO next year. He has also been replaced as chairman and CEO of Ferrari.
Marchionne is understood to have undergone shoulder surgery recently. An FCA Group statement said: “During the course of this week, unexpected complications arose when Mr Marchionne was recovering from surgery and these have worsened significantly in recent hours.
“As a consequence, Mr Marchionne will be unable to return to work.”
“The board of directors of FCA, meeting today [Saturday], 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.”
In addition to the merger of Fiat and Chrysler, Marchionne has overseen the firm's decision to focus on premium brands such as Jeep and Alfa Romeo, ahead of Fiat and Chrysler themselves. With sales and profits growing, the group is on course to clear its debt this year.
With Marchionne set to step down next year, the board said it has “resolved to accelerate the CEO transition process” by naming Mike Manley as the group’s new CEO. While the board had given Manley all the powers of CEO with immediate effect, the move will need to be approved by a meeting of shareholders.
Manley joined Daimler Chrysler in 2000, taking over as boss of Jeep in 2009. He also heads Ram, the American pick-up truck brand. Since taking over, he has overseen the growth of Jeep in the US and is responsible for the brand’s big push into the European market.
The FCA Group recently unveiled its five-year business plan running until 2022, focusing on the Alfa Romeo, Maserati, Jeep and Ram brands.
In a separate statement, Ferrari paid tribute to “the extraordinary contribution” Marchionne had made to the firm. Ferrari’s board has named John Elkann as a new chairman and will propose to shareholders that Louis C Camilleri be named CEO.