Fiat boss Sergio Marchionne dies aged 66

Fiat boss Sergio Marchionne dies aged 66

MILANO - Agence France-Presse
Fiat boss Sergio Marchionne dies aged 66

Fiat Chrysler’s visionary boss Sergio Marchionne has died, after driving the Italian auto giant to success for 14 years, holding company Exor announced Wednesday.

"It is with the deepest sadness that EXOR has learned of the passing of Sergio Marchionne," Exor, which is owned by the Agnelli family, said in a statement.

Its CEO, John Elkann, said: "Unfortunately, what we feared has come to pass. Sergio Marchionne, man and friend, is gone."

Fiat had announced at the weekend that Marchionne, 66, was gravely ill in hospital in Zurich after suffering serious complications following surgery on his right shoulder last month.

The company then scrambled to put new management in place, to take over from the Italian-Canadian executive who had taken the reins at Fiat in 2004.

Marchionne is credited with revamping Fiat, Italy’s premier private enterprise, from top to bottom.

In 2009, he merged Fiat with US automaker Chrysler, then hived off its industrial vehicles unit in 2011 to create CNH Industrial and successfully spun off the luxury brand Ferrari in January 2016.

In the statement from Exor, Elkann said: "I believe that the best way to honour his memory is to build on the legacy he left us, continuing to develop the human values of responsibility and openness of which he was the most ardent champion."