Monday, 23 July 2018

Fiat's seriously ill boss Sergio Marchionne will be a tough act to follow

Evidence of the uncertainty facing carmaker Fiat-Chrysler Automobiles (FCA) came fast on Monday.

News over the weekend that the driving force behind FCA's growth, Sergio Marchionne, would not return to work after surgery sent the shares down 5%.

It was soon followed by reports that one of the unsuccessful candidates to replace Mr Marchionne, Europe chief Alfredo Altavilla, had resigned.

The new chief is Briton Mike Manley - and he has a tough act to follow.

Mr Marchionne, 66, is in intensive care in Zurich after suffering what the company said were "massive" complications from shoulder surgery.
He was due to step aside next April anyway, but the health crisis has brought to a head FCA's succession planning and the commitment to a strategy overhaul announced earlier this year.

Mr Marchionne, famous for his signature black jumpers, sharp - but often mischievous - tongue, and workaholic lifestyle, has effectively saved two carmakers from bankruptcy - Fiat and Chrysler.

He also managed to spin-off Fiat's Ferrari in a stock market listing - something many people had talked about, but not achieved.

"Marchionne is good at execution, strategy and gamesmanship," said Evercore analyst George Galliers. "It remains to be seen whether Mr Manley is that sort of visionary".

A accountant and lawyer by training, Mr Marchionne joined Fiat in 2004 after the death of its patriarch Gianni Agnelli.

SKY       News.

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