Fiat Chrysler's Sergio Marchionne dies aged 66

Randal Sanchez
July 25, 2018

"Unfortunately what we feared has come to pass", said FCA and Exor chairman John Elkann in a statement.

The news agency ANSA is reporting that the cause of death of Fiat Chrysler automobile's founding CEO, Sergio Marchionne, was cardiac arrest.

Marchionne suffered an embolism while undergoing an operation for an invasive shoulder sarcoma and suffered irreversible damage to his brain function, an Italian business website reported Tuesday.

"I don't care what a tough guy he was to work for, he saved our company", said Cass Burch, a Chrysler and Jeep dealer in Georgia. Sergio created a remarkable legacy in the automotive industry. Marchionne turned the company around, even making Fiat's 2009 acquisition of Detroit carmaker Chrysler a success, debuting the joint Fiat Chrysler Automobiles NV in October 2014.

"We at General Motors offer our condolences to Sergio Marchionne's family and friends".

Marchionne was born on June 17, 1952, in Chieti, a hilltop town near the Adriatic sea in central Italy.

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As Dustin Dwyer reports for NPR, "Fiat Chrysler repaid the billions of dollars in USA government loans six years ahead of schedule and with interest".

Under Marchionne's stewardship, Ferrari have once more risen to the top echelon of the Championship, having won four of the 11 races to date in 2018, and challenging for both the Drivers' and Constructors' titles.

The New York Times reports that Marchionne was recovering from shoulder surgery but has become "gravely ill", and FCA reports that his condition worsened significantly on July 21.

Jetting between the company's offices and design studios in Europe and the United States, Marchionne dominated Fiat Chrysler, eclipsing the executives under him. In 2003 he was handed control of the automaker, who at the time had lost more than $7 billion.

Marchionne fully kept his promise of fixing Fiat and Chrysler. Marchionne is survived by his sons Alessio and Tyler, and his longtime partner Manuella Battezzato.

Tributes to the late Sergio Marchionne arrived from industry figures and politicians worldwide, praising his perseverance, hard negotiating skills and candor.

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