Sergio Marchionne has been replaced as the boss of Fiat Chrysler Automobiles by Jeep boss Mike Manley, after suffering serious complications following surgery.
The 66-year-old Italian-Canadian has been CEO of Fiat since 2004, and has headed up the FCA Group since Fiat and Chrysler’s merger in 2011. Marchionne had been 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, although no specifics of his condition have been released. An FCA Group statement said: “during the course of this week unexpected complications arose when Mr Marchionne was recovering from surgey and that 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.”
Having overseen 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 already due to step down next year, the board said it has “resolved to accelerate the CEO transition process” by naming Briton 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.