Sergio Marchionne, the CEO Who Saved Fiat and Chrysler Dies

Former chief executive officer of Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA), and an auto legend Sergio Marchionne, the person who turned Fiat and Chrysler into a profitable business, died on 25th July at the age of 66.

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The news comes just days after FCA replaced Marchionne at the helm of the company. FCA said in a statement that he was suffering from complications that arose from a shoulder surgery, which worsened in the hours prior to the announcement, preventing him from returning to work. John Elkann, a member of Fiat’s founding Agnelli family, said in a statement:

“Unfortunately, what we feared has come to pass. Sergio Marchionne, man and friend, is gone.”

Over a long career, Marchionne left an indelible mark on the industry. Marchionne rose to become the CEO of Fiat in 2004, and was instrumental in turning the company around from near bankruptcy. He was also the architect of a joint venture and eventual merger with Chrysler in 2009, during which the US carmaker was emerging from Chapter 11 bankruptcy. Formed in 2014, the FCA group is now the eighth largest carmaker in the world by production volume.

He was known for his witty comments, fearless decision making, trademark black sweaters and an aversion to neckties. Those who knew Marchionne described him as a confident leader with an incredible work ethic.

Sergio Marchionne, chief executive officer of Fiat Chrysler Automobiles NV, poses for a photograph ahead of a Bloomberg Television interview at the automaker’s annual general meeting in Amsterdam, Netherlands, on Friday, April 13, 2018. Photographer: Jasper Juinen/Bloomberg via Getty Images

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