July 25, 2018 would be a black day to be remembered in the hearts of automotive enthusiasts all over the world: the legendary auto executive Sergio Marchionne has died when during a high-risk shoulder surgery, he went into an unrecoverable coma following an embolism. He was only 66 years old.
At the time of death, he was the CEO of Fiat Chrysler Automobiles and president of Ferrari and best known in the industry for saving both companies from a certain demise. Born in Italy, he immigrated to Toronto, Canada at the age of 13 he had dual citizenship and spoke fluent Italian English and French. He went on to earn a Bachelor of Commerce degree and an MBA from University of Windsor as well as a law degree.
Following Chrysler’s coming out from under the Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in February 2009, Sergio Marchionne was appointed CEO and the Fiat Group received a 20% stake in Chrysler Group LLC.
Only two years later, the Fiat Chrysler Group purchased back all the ownership interests held by the Canadian and US Governments when Fiat’s stake increased to 53.5%; two months later, Sergio was elected Chairman of Chrysler. On August 1, 2014 the companies officially merged under his leadership.
Known for his ruthless approach to Management, he was often very outspoken and preferred a blunt approach. With his “deliver, or you’re out” style of management he had numerous clashes with colleagues and subordinates, but also highly regarded and appreciated after turning around two large enterprise on the brink of failure.
His management style may have seemed terrible… but he delivered!