|Born||17 June 1952|
|Died||25 July 2018 (aged 66)|
|Alma mater||University of Toronto|
University of Windsor
Osgoode Hall Law School
|Occupation||Former Chairman of CNH Industrial |
Former CEO of Ferrari
Former CEO of Fiat Chrysler Automobiles
Former Chairman of Maserati
Former CEO of FCA Italy
Former CEO of FCA US
Former Chairman of SGS
Sergio Marchionne (Italian: [ˈsɛrdʒo marˈkjɔnne]; 17 June 1952 – 25 July 2018) was an Italian-Canadian businessman, widely known for his turnarounds of the automakers Fiat and Chrysler, his business acumen and his outspoken and often frank approach, especially when dealing with unpalatable issues related to his companies and the automotive industry.
Marchionne was the chairman of CNH Industrial, the chief executive officer (CEO) of Fiat Chrysler Automobiles, the chairman and CEO of FCA US LLC, the chairman and CEO of Ferrari, and the chairman of Maserati. He was the chairman of Swiss-based SGS and vice chairman of UBS from 2008 to 2010, as well as the chairman of the European Automobile Manufacturers Association for 2012 (first elected in January 2006). He was a member of the Peterson Institute for International Economics, and the chairman of the Italian branch of the Council for the United States and Italy.
Noted for his keen observations of the automotive industry, Marchionne's insights ranged from frank criticism of his company's own products to a highly regarded 2015 presentation titled Confessions of a Capital Junkie, extolling the benefits of industry consolidation.
Marchionne was widely recognized for turning around Fiat Group to become one of the fastest-growing companies in the auto industry, in less than two years. In 2009, he was instrumental in Fiat Group forming a strategic alliance with the ailing US automaker Chrysler, with the support of the U.S. and Canadian governments and trade unions. Less than two years later, following its emergence from Chapter 11, Chrysler returned to profitability, repaying some of its government loans. In 2014, Fiat and Chrysler merged into a new holding company, Fiat Chrysler Automobiles, now the seventh-largest automobile manufacturer in the world.
Following complications from surgery, Marchionne resigned from all of his positions in July 2018 and died a few days later. The American business channel CNBC described Marchionne as a "legend" of the automotive industry, while the British newspaper Financial Times considered him as having been "one of the boldest business leaders of his generation".
Marchionne was born in Chieti, Abruzzo, Italy, the son of Concezio Marchionne, from Cugnoli (Abruzzo), and Maria Zuccon from Carnizza (today Krnica, Croatia) near Pula in Istria. His father served as a Carabiniere in Istria, where he met his future wife. Marchionne's grandfather, Giacomo Zuccon, was killed in September 1943 by Yugoslav Partisans near Barban in Istria, while his uncle Giuseppe Zuccon was killed by German troops the same year. In 1945, when the region was occupied by the Yugoslav army, Marchionne's parents moved to Chieti in Abruzzo, where Sergio was born.
At 13, Marchionne emigrated with his family to Toronto, Ontario, Canada, where they had relatives. Carrying dual Canadian and Italian citizenship, he spoke fluent English, French and Italian. Marchionne was a Canadian certified general accountant (FCGA), barrister, and a fellow of the Certified General Accountants of Ontario.
Marchionne attended St. Michael's College School, before completing his undergraduate studies in philosophy at the University of Toronto and earning a bachelor of commerce degree (1979) and an MBA (1985) from the University of Windsor as well as a law degree from Osgoode Hall Law School of York University (1983). He received an honorary doctorate from Walsh College (2013).
From 1983 to 1985, he worked as an accountant and tax specialist for Deloitte & Touche in Canada. From 1985 to 1988, he was Group Controller and then Director of Corporate Development at the Lawson Mardon Group in Toronto. In 1989, he moved to Glenex Industries where he worked for two years as Executive Vice President.
From 1990 to 1992, he was Vice President of Finance and Chief Financial Officer at Acklands Ltd. Between 1992 and 1994, he served as Vice President of Legal and Corporate Development and Chief Financial Officer of the Lawson Group, which was acquired by Alusuisse Lonza (Algroup) in 1994.
From 1994 to 2000, he worked at Algroup (Alusuisse Lonza Group Limited) based in Zürich, where he became Chief Executive Officer in 1997. He then took the helm of the Lonza Group in Basel, after its spin-off from Algroup, serving first as Chief Executive Officer and Managing Director (2000–2001) and then as Chairman (2002).
In February 2002, he became Chief Executive Officer and Managing Director of SGS S.A. of Geneva where, in March 2006, he was appointed Chairman. Marchionne was elected as an independent member of the Board of Directors of Fiat S.p.A. in May 2003, until being appointed CEO in 2004.
In February 2011 Marchionne sparked widespread controversy in the US when he remarked at the J.D. Power & Associates International Automotive Roundtable that Chrysler's bail-out loans from the U.S. government carried "shyster rates". Marchionne immediately issued a public apology, stating "I regret the remark and consider it inappropriate" and going on to explain that "As the only parties willing to underwrite the risk associated with Chrysler's recovery plan, the two governments [U.S. and Canadian] levied interest rates that, although appropriate at the time, are above current market conditions." In July 2011, following the purchase of the ownership interests held by Canada and the US Treasury, Fiat's stake in Chrysler increased to 53.5% and in September 2011, Marchionne was also elected Chairman of Chrysler. Fiat and Chrysler officially merged on 1 August 2014.
Following the 2015 Volkswagen emissions scandal, in January 2017, the EPA also accused Fiat Chrysler of installing software that allowed excess diesel emissions to go undetected in their EcoDiesel engines. Marchionne denied any wrongdoing. He was critical of the EPA and rejected comparisons between Fiat Chrysler and Volkswagen.
Marchionne last appeared in public on 26 June 2018 in Rome, when he presented a Jeep to the Carabinieri, Italy's military police. FCA subsequently announced Marchionne had taken medical leave for shoulder surgery at the University Hospital of Zürich in Switzerland — adding on the day of surgery that he would not return due to post-surgical complications. After further serious complications, on 21 July 2018, Marchionne resigned from all his positions and was replaced at FCA, Ferrari, SGS and CNH.
He died on 25 July 2018 at age 66, most likely from complications related to underlying cancer. Some reports claimed he had suffered from an invasive shoulder cancer. According to the University Hospital of Zürich, Marchionne had been treated for a "serious illness" for over a year before his death, which was also noted by his partner's father Pier Luigi Battezzato. He had also quit smoking since his treatment started. FCA did not have knowledge of his health condition until just weeks before his death.
He was survived by his partner Manuela Battezzato, his two adult sons, Alessio and Tyler, and his former wife Orlandina.
Marchionne earned a reputation for an outspoken and often blunt approach. In a 2009 Forbes interview, Massimo Vecchio, an analyst with Mediobanca, commented on the contrast and Marchionne's controversial management style:
"He's got a lot of American in his management style. The only thing that matters to him is results. If you don't deliver, you are out. He is quite ruthless. When Marchionne took over the company [Fiat], he was literally firing one manager a day but there was a leadership problem and nobody wanted to take hard decisions. The communication from bottom to top in management was slow and wrong. He also changed that. He reduced the layers of management and gave his role a more direct view of what the business was doing. And of course his ego is very big and sometimes people who had clashes with him were basically fired. Looking at his style from outside it seems awful, but he delivered."
Despite the buttoned-down business world in which he worked, Marchionne disliked having to think about his wardrobe, and became known for wearing black sweaters and jeans — keeping a supply of both in each of his residences. On 1 June 2018, Marchionne wore a necktie to celebrate the FCA debt repayment. Reporters noted that he had not been seen wearing a tie since 2007.
The Istituto Sergio Marchionne high school was opened in Amatrice on 6 November 2019 by John Elkann, CEO of Ferrari. It was rebuilt after the August 2016 Central Italy earthquake, financed largely by the sale of the 500th La Ferrari.
Honors and awards
- Cavaliere del Lavoro – 1 June 2006
- 2005, Honorary Doctor of Laws from the University of Windsor (Canada)
- 2007, Masters honoris causa from the CUOA Foundation (Italy)
- 2007, Degree in Economics honoris causa from the Università degli Studi di Cassino
- 2008, he received a degree ad honorem in Industrial Engineering and Management from Polytechnic University of Turin (Italy)
- Honorary Doctor of Business Administration from the University of Toledo (Ohio), 8 May 2011
- 2010, Marchionne was awarded the Premio Pico della Mirandola.
- 2011, Marchionne was awarded The Deming Cup 2011 for operational excellence presented by W. Edwards Deming Center at Columbia Business School.
- 2011, The Business Council for International Understanding honored Marchionne with the Dwight D. Eisenhower Leadership Award
- 2015, Marchionne was awarded the Hennick Medal for Career Achievement at Osgoode Hall Law School, York University by The Hennick Centre for Business and Law.
- 2015, Marchionne SAE Foundation Industry Leadership Award, when being was CEO of Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA) and Chairman of CNH Industrial N.V. The award of 2016 has been recognized to Mark Fields, Chief Executive Officer of Ford Motor Company.
- 2019, World Car Person of the Year, presented at the Geneva Motor Show on 5 March 2019
- 2019, Inducted into the Automotive Hall of Fame on 18 July 2019
- Carlos Tavares, noted as Marchionne's unofficial heir, having engineered a similar turnaround at Groupe PSA, which is intending to merge with FCA.
- Carlos Ghosn, CEO who led a turnaround at Nissan.
- Lee Iacocca, CEO who led a previous turnaround at Chrysler.
- Alan Mulally, CEO who led a previous turnaround at Ford.
- "Sergio Marchionne, la compagna Manuela sempre al suo fianco". Today.it. 20 October 2017. Retrieved 25 July 2018.
- "Sempre a fianco di Sergio". LetteraDonna. 23 July 2018.
- "Sergio Marchionne, who saved Fiat and Chrysler, has died". Cnbc.com. 30 March 2015. Retrieved 25 July 2018.
- "Europe: Sergio Marchionne re-elected president of ACEA". Automotive World. 12 January 2007. Retrieved 1 September 2012.
- "UBS Plans to Cut Chairman's Next Term After Subprime Losses". International Herald Tribune. Retrieved 27 February 2008.
- Ebhardt, Tommaso (26 May 2015). "Fiat CEO's merger confession called 'spot on'". The Detroit News. Bloomberg News. Archived from the original on 30 July 2015.
- "Fiat Burning Rubber". BusinessWeek. Retrieved 17 May 2007.
- "Fiat Net Profit Soars as Automaker Promises the First Dividend Since 2002". MSNBC.com. 25 January 2007. Retrieved 17 May 2007.
- "Liberal government writes off $1.1B US loan to Chrysler, plus interest, docs show". CBC. 2018. Retrieved 8 June 2021.
- "Ontario government writes off $445M loan to Chrysler". CBC. 2018. Retrieved 8 June 2021.
- "Fiat Chrysler to spin off Ferrari, issue $2.5 billion convertible bond". Reuters. 29 October 2014. Retrieved 11 July 2015.
- Jackie Wattles; Chris Isidore; Peter Valdes-Dapena (21 July 2018). "Sergio Marchionne, auto legend, steps down as CEO of Fiat Chrysler". CNN. Retrieved 22 July 2018.
- "Zurigo, morto a 66 anni Sergio Marchionne – Tgcom24". Tgcom24 (in Italian). Retrieved 25 July 2018.
- "Auto industry legend CEO Sergio Marchionne dies at age 66". Cnbc.com. 1 October 2009. Retrieved 25 July 2018.
- Sanderson, Rachel (25 July 2018). "Sergio Marchionne, car company executive, 1952–2018". Financial Times. Ft.trib.al. Retrieved 25 July 2018.
- ""Marchionne Sergio CV" (PDF). Fiat Group. Retrieved January 2, 2012" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 17 July 2012. Retrieved 1 September 2012.
- "Marchionne, il nonno infoibato, l'Istria nel sangue: il dramma di una famiglia italiana". Secoloditalia.it. 23 February 1976. Retrieved 25 July 2018.
- "Emigrazione Abruzzese". Archived from the original on 22 July 2011.
- "2011 CGA Fellowship Recipients". Cga-canada.org. 12 December 2011. Retrieved 1 September 2012.
- Scialò, Luca (24 July 2018). "Sergio Marchionne: ecco chi lo sostituirà in FCA". Web Economia.
- "Sergio Marchionne BComm '79, MBA '85, Alumni Association, University of Windsor".
- "York in the Media". Y-File. Retrieved 17 May 2007.
- "Sergio Marchionne". www.fcagroup.com. Retrieved 9 August 2017.
- "Sergio Marchionne, il duro in pullover che ha rivoluzionato la Fiat". Linkiesta. 22 July 2018.
- "Sergio Marchionne – Il Foglio". Ilfoglio.it. 21 July 2018. Retrieved 25 July 2018.
- "Sergio Marchionne obituary: a great life, in pictures". www.autocar.co.uk. Retrieved 25 July 2018.
- Adnkronos. "Marchionne, un destino fra Europa e America". Notizie.tiscali.it. Retrieved 25 July 2018.
- July, Bloomberg (21 July 2018). "A Timeline of Sergio Marchionne's Transformative Fiat Chrysler Tenure". Fortune.com. Retrieved 25 July 2018.
- Noah Joseph. "BREAKING: Marchionne confirmed as post-bankruptcy Chrysler CEO". Autoblog.com. Retrieved 1 September 2012.
- Rachel Sanderson and John Reed (6 February 2011). "Fiat in firestorm for floating Detroit move". Financial Times. Retrieved 7 February 2011.
- Dan Hart (5 February 2011). "Chrysler's Marchionne Says Calling Loans 'Shyster Rates' Was Inappropriate". Bloomberg News. Retrieved 7 February 2011.
- "APPROVAL OF CROSS-BORDER MERGER TO CREATE FIAT CHRYSLER AUTOMOBILES N.V. (FCA)" (PDF). www.fcagroup.com. Fiat S.p.A. Retrieved 20 September 2015.
- David Shepardson; Bernie Woodall (13 January 2017). "EPA accuses Fiat Chrysler of excess diesel emissions". Reuters. Retrieved 7 March 2017.
- Hiroko Tabuchi (12 January 2017). "E.P.A. Accuses Fiat Chrysler of Secretly Violating Emissions Standards". The New York Times. Retrieved 7 March 2017.
- Nathan Bomey (12 January 2017). "EPA accuses Fiat Chrysler of cheating emissions laws". USA today. Retrieved 7 March 2017.
- Tom Krisher; Michael Biesecker (12 January 2017). "Fiat Chrysler accused of emission cheating by U.S." The Toronto Star. Retrieved 7 March 2017.
- 'FCA paints grim picture of Marchionne's health,' Autonews, 21 July 2018.
- "Fiat Chrysler Paints Grim Picture of Marchionne's Health". 21 July 2018. Retrieved 23 July 2018.
- "Sergio Marchionne had embolism during surgery". Detroit Free Press. 25 July 2018.
- "Fiat Names Jeep Chief Manley to Replace CEO Marchionne". Bloomberg News.
- Editorial, Reuters (21 July 2018). "Fiat, Ferrari boards to meet on Marchionne succession – report". Reuters.
- Editorial, Reuters (21 July 2018). "Fiat Chrysler to name Jeep's Manley to replace Marchionne as CEO -..." Reuters.
- Di Paolo Griseri (25 July 2018). "E' morto Sergio Marchionne, l'uomo che salvò l'auto italiana". Repubblica.it. Retrieved 25 July 2018.
- Sylvers, Eric; Kostov, Nick; Rogers, Christina (28 May 2019). "Fiat's Talks With Renault Propelled by Changes in Leadership". Wall Street Journal. ISSN 0099-9660. Retrieved 28 May 2019.
- Perez, Jerry. "Report: Sergio Marchionne Currently in a Coma With Irreversible Brain Damage". The Drive.
- "Marchionne knew of 'serious illness' for a year". Automotive News Europe. 26 July 2018.
- "New book details the final days and legacy of Sergio Marchionne". Automotive News. 24 April 2019.
- Bianca Carretto (25 July 2018). "Marchionne: la compagna Manuela Battezzato, i figli, l'Italia. Il suo volto segreto". Corriere.it. Retrieved 25 July 2018.
- Kristine Owram (14 July 2015). "Sergio Marchionne has nothing to fear from the Ontario government". Financial Post. Retrieved 7 March 2017.
- "The New Iacocca: Chrysler CEO Marchionne Is Already Sorry He Opened His Mouth". CBS News. 7 February 2011. Retrieved 7 March 2017.
- Dana Flavelle (7 March 2014). "Chrysler chief Sergio Marchionne: straight shooter, tough negotiator". The Toronto Star. Retrieved 7 March 2017.
- Javier Espinoza (14 April 2009). "Can Sergio Marchionne Save Chrysler?". Forbes. Retrieved 7 March 2017.
- Neal E. Boudette and Elisabetta Povoledo (25 July 2018). "Sergio Marchionne, Who Revived Fiat and Chrysler, Dies at 66". The New York Times.
- "Why Chrysler boss Sergio Marchionne always wears black". thestar.com. 22 November 2011.
- Essex, Randy. "FCA CEO Sergio Marchionne surprises audience with this fashion choice". Detroit Free Press.
- Neal E. Boudette (21 July 2018). "Fiat Chrysler C.E.O. Marchionne Is Replaced After Falling Gravely Ill". The New York Times.
- Amatrice school named in honor of Sergio Marchionne, ferrari.com, last accessed on 10 January 2020.
- "Sito web del Quirinale: dettaglio decorato". Quirinale.it. Retrieved 1 September 2012.
- Flak, Agnieszka; Barbaglia, Pamela (22 July 2018). "Illness ends career of Sergio Marchionne, the CEO who liked to fix things". Automotive News Canada. Retrieved 22 July 2018.
- Marketizer.com, QuimiNet.com / e-Industria.com /. "Biografía de Sergio Marchionne, el CEO que revivió a Fiat, Chrysler y que convirtió a Ferrari en la cuarta Marca Más Poderosa del Mundo | QuimiNet.com". www.quiminet.com (in Spanish). Retrieved 25 July 2018.
- Degl'Innocenti, Chiara (25 July 2018). "Sergio Marchionne, il manager in maglione che ha cambiato la Fiat – Panorama". Panorama (in Italian). Retrieved 25 July 2018.
- "Sergio Marchionne, 2011". NPR.org. Retrieved 25 July 2018.
- University, Michigan State. "MSU announces fall commencement speakers". MSUToday. Retrieved 25 July 2018.
- "Marchionne viene contestato per aver ricevuto il premio Pico 2010". Corrieredibologna.corriere.it. Retrieved 1 September 2012.
- "Chrysler Group Chairman and CEO Sergio Marchionne Awarded Deming Cup by Columbia Business School". Fiat Chrysler Automobiles. 4 November 2011. Retrieved 7 March 2017.
- LLC, Chrysler Group. "Chrysler Group Chairman and CEO Sergio Marchionne Awarded Global Leadership Award by Business Council for International Understanding". www.prnewswire.com.
- "BCIU Gala". Archived from the original on 24 June 2012.
- "Hennick Medal for Career Achievement : Hennick Centre". hennickcentre.ca. Retrieved 25 July 2018.
- "SAE Foundation Industry Leadership Award". Retrieved 27 July 2018.
- "FCA's Marchionne Named SAE Foundation's 2015 Industry Leadership Awardee". Automotive World. Detroit, Michigan. 21 October 2014. Archived from the original on 24 July 2018. Retrieved 24 July 2018.
- "SAE Foundation Names Ford Motor Company's Mark Fields 2016 Industry Leadership Award". Detroit, Michigan. 9 December 2015. Archived from the original on 24 July 2018. Retrieved 24 July 2018.
- Ebhardt, Tommaso (31 October 2019). "In Carlos Tavares, Fiat Family Finds Heir to Marchionne Legacy". www.bloomberg.com.
- Holman W. Jenkins Jr. (24 July 2018), "A workaholic saved Chrysler", The Wall Street Journal.
- Sergio Marchionne; Alberto Grando; Mario Monti (11 June 2019). Sergio Marchionne. Il coraggio di cambiare. Egea (in Italian). Rizzoli. p. 121. ISBN 9788858697580. OCLC 1109970313.