Published: Mon, July 23, 2018
Money | By Michele Stevens

Ailing Fiat Chrysler CEO Sergio Marchionne forced to step down

Ailing Fiat Chrysler CEO Sergio Marchionne forced to step down

He was appointed in 2004 as the fifth Fiat chief in a two-year period.

This will occur at the next shareholder's meeting which will be "called in the coming days".

Fiat Chrysler president John Elkann said in a letter to employees, "It is with great sadness that I have to tell you that our CEO Sergio Marchionne, who recently underwent surgery, unfortunately experienced complications that have worsened in recent hours and will prevent his return to FCA".

Under Manley, the company is expected to sharpen its focus on revamping individual brands, including ailing Fiat in Europe, Chrysler in the USA and Alfa Romeo, which has yet to turn a profit despite multibillion-euro investments.

Longtime head of Fiat Chrysler Automobiles, Sergio Marchionne, remains in intensive care.

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Analysts said that choosing the 54-year-old Manley, under whose watch Jeep's sales surged fourfold, sent a clear message that FCA was staying on course and would keep the Jeep brand at the heart of its growth plan.

Fiat Chrysler aid on Saturday that boss Sergio Marchionne, 66, would not be returning to work because he was gravely ill.

Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA) headquarters are seen in Turin, Italy, July 21, 2018.

Mr Marchionne was also chairman and CEO of Ferrari. Since taking over, he has overseen the growth of Jeep in the U.S. and is responsible for the brand's big push into the European market.

Fiat spins off its industrial assets as a precursor to creating a global automotive company, combining its own operations with Chrysler's.

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CNH Industrial said its interim CEO, Derek Neilson, will continue on pending the selection of a permanent replacement for Marchionne. He was holding multiple leadership roles in the companies.

Brands that have been driving the company's revenues include Jeep SUVs, Ram trucks and the premium brands, Maserati and Alfa Romeo.

The passenger-car brands of Fiat and Chrysler have been less profitable. That clashed with Marchionne's goal of having Ferrari expand volume to 10,000 to cater for rising demand.

Marchionne, an Italian as well as a Canadian, is steeped in economics as well as philosophy.

"This is a very important person for Formula 1", said Mercedes team principal Toto Wolff.

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Milan-based AP business writer Colleen Barry, AP Auto Writer Tom Krisher and AP sports writer Jerome Pugmire in Hockenheim, Germany contributed.

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