Sergio Marchionne, Ferrari, 2017

Ferrari names new chairman and CEO as Marchionne steps down on health grounds

2018 F1 season

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Ferrari chairman and chief executive officer Sergio Marchionne has stepped down from his roles due to ill health, the company has announced.

The 66-year-old, who was due to depart the company in April next year, has been on leave following surgery on his shoulder last month. However the company said in a statement on Saturday it has “learned with deep sadness” that Marchionne “will be unable to return to work.”

“The board’s thoughts are with Sergio Marchionne and his family and it is grateful for the extraordinary contribution he has made in recent years at the helm of Ferrari,” it added.

RaceFans understands an acute health condition has motivated the decision to bring forward his departure.

This was alluded to in a further statement from Fiat Chrysler Automobiles: “With reference to the health of Sergio Marchionne, Fiat Chrysler Automobiles N.V. communicates with profound sorrow that during the course of this week unexpected complications arose while Mr Marchionne was recovering from surgery and that these have worsened significantly in recent hours.

Ferrari has named John Elkann as its new chairman and Louis Carey Camilleri as CEO.

Elkann is the grandson of former Fiat president Gianni Agnelli and CEO of the Agnelli/Elkann-owned holding company Exor, which owns Ferrari. Elkann said he was “profoundly saddened to learn of Sergio’s state of health.”

“It is a situation that was unthinkable until a few hours ago, and one that leaves us all with a real sense of injustice,” he added. “My first thoughts go to Sergio and his family.”

Camilleri, 63, is a former chairman of Philip Morris International, Ferrari’s main sponsor and producer of the Marlboro cigarette brand. Ferrari team principal Maurizio Arrivabene was previously a vice-president at PMI.

Camilleri has also been entrusted with “the necessary powers to ensure continuity of the company’s operation”, Ferrari added.

Marchionne, who has run the Fiat-Chrysler Group since 2004, took over from Luca di Montezemolo as Ferrari chairman in October 2014. Since that win-less season the F1 team has become increasingly competitive. Sebastian Vettel challenged Lewis Hamilton for the drivers’ championship last year. Vettel is leading the drivers’ championship and Ferrari are ahead in the constructors’ championship too.

Under Marchionne the Alfa Romeo brand, which like Ferrari is also owned by Fiat Chrysler, returned to Formula 1 this year as Sauber’s title sponsor.

He has also played a significant role in ongoing discussions with Formula 1 owners Liberty Media. Marchionne threatened to pull Ferrari out of the sport if he did not agree with Liberty Media’s plans for the championship after 2020.

Elkann said it has “been my privilege to have had Sergio at my side for all these years.”

“I would ask everyone for their understanding in these circumstances and to respect Sergio’s privacy and that of those who are dear to him.”

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Dieter Rencken
Dieter Rencken has held full FIA Formula 1 media accreditation since 2000, during which period he has reported from over 300 grands prix, plus...
Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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  • 27 comments on “Ferrari names new chairman and CEO as Marchionne steps down on health grounds”

    1. Steps down because of shoulder surgery? Doesn’t make sense….

      1. He was otherwise going to step down next year anyway, so that might be part of it.

        1. @davidnotcoulthard
          The news coming from Italy are suggesting that his conditions got worse in the last hours.

          1. I hope its not as serious as a life/quality of life issue?

            1. To me it really does sound like exactly that @phylyp

        2. Step down from FCA next year, but not Ferrari; indeed, he had big plans for an expanded role at Ferrari after his retirement from FCA.

          1. Step down from Ferrari too, start today. It’s been an emergency change today by a board sudden meeting. Marchionne is in serious life threatening.

          2. Dieter, yes it’s step down from Ferrari too, start today. It’s been an emergency change today by a board sudden meeting. Marchionne is in serious life threatening.

            1. Sorry for double post, connection problem..

          3. @dieterrencken Ah that makes sense. I hope he’s alright.

            @formevic No he meant he was supposed to have a bigger role at Ferrari after stepping down from FCA

            1. @davidnotcoulthard thank you for clarification.
              Ferrari board talked of a definitive change, same as far FCA helm. Bad omen for Marchionne.. best wishes to him

      2. pastaman (@)
        21st July 2018, 19:01

        Perhaps he contracted an infection due to the surgery.

      3. Surgery complications can be serious and life threatening even if the surgery itself appears simple and routine, such as a shoulder reconstruction etc.

        Given the man’s age, it isn’t really that surprising. shocking and sad yes but not really surprising

    2. Whoa, that’s unexpected. I wonder what John and Louis’s views are on Ferrari in F1.

      1. @phylyp
        As for John his view of F1 should be very well aligned with Marchionne’s view since he has been his mentor since 2004. As for Camilleri, the man has kept a low profile for years despite being one of PM most successful managers. He is also known being in charge of the negotiations and settlements of the lawsuit brought against PM for the damage its tobacco products, which he is very supportive, have caused.

        1. Many thanks @tifoso1989 that’s good to know 👍

        2. And Mike Manley fron Edenbridge,Kent new CEO of FCA.

          1. Different CEO’s and (probably) chairmen will widen the gap between FCA/Alfa Romeo and Ferrari.
            Sauber might lose its main tie-in with Ferrari

    3. Italy fresh new report bit dramatic sit abt Marchionne.. they talk of “sudden aggravation” and FCA management “support to family”. Hopo are bs..

      1. I believe those absurdities can be laid to rest now.

    4. Best wishes to him, hope he recovers

    5. Todd (@braketurnaccelerate)
      21st July 2018, 19:56

      MRSA infection? Pretty common complication from surgery that can take a drastic turn in a matter of hours/days. If it really is a MRSA issue, I hope Marchionne pulls through. MRSA is a nasty infection that can cause anything from Pneumonia to Organ Failure and lots of other issues.

    6. I wish him many happy, healthy years away from Formula One. I hope he recovers 100% and I never see his name in print ever again in any context.

    7. Hoping for the best.

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