Ex-Fiat Chrysler and Ferrari boss Sergio Marchionne has died, days after the 66-year-old was replaced at the helm of both automotive groups following complications from shoulder surgery.
Marchionne passing was confirmed on Wednesday by Exor NV, the holding company if Fiat's founding Agnelli family.
Born in Chieti, Italy, on June 17, 1952, Marchionne entered the auto industry with Fiat as an outsider when he left SGS S.A., a health inspection firm. He took over after Umberto Agnelli, whose family founded Fiat in 1899, died of cancer.
A man who described himself as a corporate "fixer", Marchionne was the prime architect of Fiat Chrysler's dramatic turnaround that began in 2003 when he took the reins of the company, and an emblematic figure for Ferrari.
A hard-line executive, who shot from the hip, Marchionne represented Ferrari in the Scuderia's often difficult negotiations with Liberty Media, Formula 1's commercial rights holder.
While he threatened to pull the House of Maranello out of Grand Prix racing if the its core interests were not retained from 2021, when the sport ushers in a new regulation platform, Marchionne also sought to work with F1's managers to reach a level of compromise acceptable to all.
Last weekend, Ferrari appointed John Elkann as the luxury automobile manufacturer's Chairman and Louis Camilleri as its new Chief Executive Officer.
“Unfortunately, what we feared has come to pass. Sergio Marchionne, man and friend, is gone," Elkann said.
“I believe that the best way to honour his memory is to build on the legacy he left us, continuing to develop the human values of responsibility and openness of which he was the most ardent champion.
“My family and I will be forever grateful for what he has done.”
A maverick and a titan of the auto industry, Sergio Marchionne will undoubtedly leave a huge void at Fiat Chrysler and Ferrari, but above all with his friends and family for whom he will be sorrowfully missed.