SERGIO MARCHIONNE 1952-2018
The former Ferrari boss and head of Fiat Chrysler Automobiles, best known for the rescue and resurgence of Alfa Romeo and Maserati in recent years under his leadership, died suddenly in July following complications after shoulder surgery.
Marchionne joined the board of then-struggling Fiat in 2003, his first role in the automotive industry, and became CEO the following year under incoming chairman Luca de Montezemelo after Umberto Agnelli’s death.
In 2009, Marchionne steered Fiat into taking a 20% stake in Chrysler, rising to 58.5% in 2012 before two years later Fiat bought the remaining shares. This led to the creation of Fiat Chrysler Automobiles and gave the Italian firm greater access to the North American market, plus the scale to compete against its bigger global rivals.
At the same time, Marchionne spun off Ferrari into an independent division, and chose to remain in charge of the sports-car firm. Although he was a businessman first, he was also an enthusiast who bought every new Ferrari if he liked it – using his own money – and was similarly interested in Vespa scooters, another part of the huge industrial group.