Tributes Pour in for Ferrari CEO Marchionne Who Died Tuesday
Sergio Marchionne, who engineered turnarounds to save both Fiat and Chrysler from near-certain failure, has died at 66 anni.
Tributes are pouring in from automotive leaders about Sergio Marchionne’s skill, creativity and determination in saving Chrysler and Fiat from near-certain financial ruin.
General Motors CEO Mary Barra, whom Mr. Marchionne tried unsuccessfully to persuade to enter into a merger, sent condolences to his family, friends and Fiat Chrysler (NYSE:FCAU) colleagues and praised his “remarkable legacy in the automotive industry.”
Ford Executive Chairman Bill Ford called Mr. Marchionne “one of the most respected leaders in the industry whose creativity and bold determination helped to restore Chrysler to financial health and grow Fiat Chrysler into a profitable global automaker.”
The Cgil union, Italy’s most powerful, praised Mr. Marchionne for having “saved a dying company.” But it faulted him for having failed to negotiate with “an important sector of Italian workers,” which it said created conflict and divisions that are still being felt.
Cgil’s Fiom metalworkers union clashed with Marchionne over changes he brought to Italian plants to increase productivity.
Fiat Chrysler CEO Mike Manley has paid tribute to Sergio Marchionne, saying news of his death is “heartbreaking.”
Mr. Manley opened a conference call on the automaker’s quarterly results on Wednesday with a minute of silence.
He spoke from HQ in Turin, where corporate flags flew at half-mast.
At the Fiat plant in Pomigliano, Italy, where the popular Panda car is produced, workers stopped production for 10 minutes.
Mr. Manley said: “This is a very sad and difficult time.”
“There is no doubt Sergio was a very special man and there is no doubt he will be sorely missed.”
CFO Richard Palmer, who was also on the call, said Mr. Marchionne was unique, and that he was grateful to have worked alongside him for the last 12 years.