How Marchionne returned Fiat to lifeJuly 24, 2018
Sergio Marchionne, one of the best leaders of Fiat in the history of the group, is in a coma. The state of health of the top manager deteriorated sharply after surgery on the shoulder. And the operation was carried out in early July, and the recovery period should take several weeks. But a couple of days ago, Marchionne suddenly became ill, and he was transferred to resuscitation.
Now the Italian is in the intensive care unit of the clinic in Zurich – his condition doctors estimate as “irreversible.” According to the newspaper La Reppublica, the doctors tried to take out Marcionne out of a coma, but all attempts ended unsuccessfully.
About the fact that Marchionne is seriously ill, it became known last Saturday. FCA Chairman John Elkann sent a tragic message to the employees in managerial positions: “Sergio will not be returned”.
A few hours later, the concern issued an official statement on behalf of the same Elkann: “Sergio was the best leader you could dream of. And for me he was a mentor, a colleague and a good friend. We met at one of the worst moments in the history of Fiat, and the company managed to be saved thanks to its intelligence, perseverance and leadership. ”
Sergio Marchionne began his career very late – at 31. Prior to that, he received three higher educations in various fields. Namely, Marchionne studied philosophy, finance and jurisprudence. And he studied overseas – in March parents Marchionne moved when Sergio was 13 years old.
In Fiat, Marchionne only got in 2004, and before joining the concern, he never worked in the automotive industry. But this did not prevent him in the first year of work to carry out several large-scale reforms that helped Fiat return to life.
In the midst of the 2008 crisis, Marchionne decided to buy back part of Chrysler shares – he believed that after the crisis there will be only six large producers, and the rest will be absorbed by large concerns. Fiat bought Chrysler completely in January 2014 – if it were not for Marchionne, the legendary American brand would cease to exist. At the same time, the FCA (Fiat Chrysler Automobiles) concern was formed, and its leader was, of course, Sergio Marchionne.
Later, Fiat could absorb two more companies – Opel and Saab. And Marchionne viewed this merger as a promising opportunity to approach Volkswagen. But the Opel union opposed such a merger, and Marchionne felt that the purchase of Saab alone was not viable.
After the deal did not take place, Opel was waiting for hard times: it left several markets in Europe and later came under the control of the French PSA. Saab generally went bankrupt and disappeared.
Marchionne headed Ferrari in 2016, replacing Amedeo Felisa in this position. And for the first time Marchionne undertook to manage a profitable project – in the first quarter (Sergio became CEO in May), Ferrari’s revenue was a record 78 million euros.
In the coming months, John Elkann himself, the heir to the empire of Agnelli, will lead the Ferrari. And the new general director of the whole concern Fiat Chrysler Automobiles instead of Marchionne was appointed Mike Manley.