Fiat Chrysler To Replace Ill CEO

Fiat Chrysler Automobiles CEO Sergio Marchionne speaks to media at the 2018 North American International Auto Show in Detroit, January 15, 2018. Photo by Mark Brown/Blackburn News.

Fiat Chrysler Automobiles’ board of directors has recommended that Jeep executive Mike Manley replace current CEO Sergio Marchionne due to his deteriorating health.

A company statement says the decision was made at an urgent board meeting on Saturday:

“Fiat Chrysler Automobiles 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. As a consequence, Mr. Marchionne will be unable to return to work.”

Marchionne, 66 years old, had already announced he would step down in early 2019.

In order to accelerate the CEO transition process, the board has named Mike Manley as CEO. The board will propose at the next Shareholder Meeting that he be elected to the board and serve as an executive director of the company.

Taking effect immediately, the board has granted Manley all the powers of CEO. He will also assume responsibility for the NAFTA region.

Fiat Chrysler Chairman John Elkann also released a statement on Saturday regarding Marchionne’s health.

“I am 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. My first thoughts go to Sergio and his family,” says Elkann.

He says that the transition is ultimately best for the company.

“The succession plans we have just announced, even if not without pain from a personal point of view, mean we can guarantee the maximum possible continuity, preserving our companies’ unique cultures,” says Elkann.