Sergio Marchionne

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Sergio Marchionne
Fiat Sergio Marchionne.jpg
Marchionne in 2007
Born (1952-06-17) June 17, 1952 (age 68)
Chieti, Italy
Alma mater University of Toronto
University of Windsor
York University
University of Trento
Occupation Former Chairman of CNH Industrial
Former CEO of Ferrari
Former CEO of Fiat Chrysler Automobiles
Former Chairman of Maserati
Former CEO of FCA Italy
Former CEO of FCA US
Former Chairman of SGS
Partner(s) Manuela Battezzato
Children 2

Sergio Marchionne (Italian: [ˈsɛrdʒo marˈkjɔnne]; born June 17, 1952) is an Italian-Canadian executive who was the Chairman of CNH Industrial, the Chairman & CEO of Fiat Chrysler Automobiles, the Chairman and CEO of Ferrari and also Chairman of Maserati. He is the Chairman of Swiss-based SGS and he was the non-executive Vice Chairman of the Board of the global banking group UBS from 2008 to 2010, as well as the elected Chairman of the European Automobile Manufacturers Association for 2012 (first elected in January 2006).[1][2] He is also a member of the Peterson Institute for International Economics as well as Chairman of the Italian Branch of the Council for the United States and Italy.

Noted for his keen observations of the automotive industry, Marchionne's insights range from frank criticism of his company's own products to a highly-regarded 2015 presentation titled Confessions of a Capital Junkie, extolling the benefits of industry consolidation.[3]

Marchionne is widely recognized for turning around Fiat Group to become one of the fastest growing companies in the auto industry,[4] returning it to profitability in 2006 in less than two years.[5] In 2009, he was instrumental in Fiat Group forming a strategic alliance with the ailing US automaker Chrysler, with the support of the US and Canadian governments and trade unions. Less than two years later, following its emergence from Chapter 11, Chrysler returned to profitability, repaying all government loans. In 2014, Fiat and Chrysler merged into a new holding company, Fiat Chrysler Automobiles, now the seventh-largest automobile manufacturer in the world.[6]

Following complications from surgery, Marchionne resigned from his positions as CEO in July 2018.[7]

Life and career

Early life

Marchionne was born in Chieti, Abruzzo, Italy,[8] the son of Concezio Marchionne, from Cugnoli (also in Abruzzo), and Maria Zuccon from Carnizza (today Krnica, Croatia) near Labin in Istria. His father served as a carabiniere in Istria, where he met his future wife. Marchionne's grandfather, Giacomo Zuccon, was killed in September 1943 by Yugoslav Partisans near Barban in Istria, while his uncle Giuseppe Zuccon was killed by the Nazis the same year. In 1945, when the region was occupied by the Yugoslav army, Marchionne's parents moved to Chieti in Abruzzo, where Sergio was born.

At age 13, Marchionne emigrated with his family to Toronto, Ontario, Canada, where they had relatives.[9] As a result, he has dual Canadian and Italian citizenship and speaks fluent English, French and Italian. He is a Canadian Certified General Accountant (FCGA),[10] barrister, and a fellow of the Certified General Accountants of Ontario.


Marchionne attended St. Michael's College School, before moving on to complete his undergraduate studies in philosophy at the University of Toronto and then earning a Bachelor of Commerce in 1979 and an MBA in 1985, both from the University of Windsor[11] and a law degree from Osgoode Hall Law School of York University in 1983.[12] Marchionne received an Honorary Doctor of laws degree from Walsh College in 2013.[13]

Early career

From 1983 to 1985, he worked as an accountant and tax specialist for Deloitte & Touche in Canada. From 1985 to 1988, he was Group Controller and then Director of Corporate Development at the Lawson Mardon Group in Toronto. In 1989, he moved to Glenex Industries where he worked for two years as Executive Vice President.

From 1990 to 1992, he was Vice President of Finance and Chief Financial Officer at Acklands Ltd. Between 1992 and 1994, he served as Vice President of Legal and Corporate Development and Chief Financial Officer of the Lawson Group, which was acquired by Alusuisse Lonza (Algroup) in 1994.

From 1994 to 2000, he worked at Algroup (Alusuisse Lonza Group Limited) based in Zurich, where he became Chief Executive Officer in 1997. He then took the helm of the Lonza Group Ltd. in Basel, after its spin-off from Algroup, serving first as Chief Executive Officer and Managing Director (2000–2001) and then as Chairman (2002).

In February 2002, he became Chief Executive Officer and Managing Director of SGS S.A. of Geneva where, in March 2006, he was appointed Chairman. Marchionne was elected as an independent member of the Board of Directors of Fiat S.p.A. in May 2003, until being appointed CEO in 2004.


Sergio Marchionne in 2006

In June 2009, when Chrysler emerged from Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection, Fiat Group received a 20% stake in Chrysler Group LLC and Marchionne was appointed CEO, replacing existing CEO Robert Nardelli.[14] In July 2011, following the purchase of the ownership interests held by Canada and the US Treasury, Fiat’s stake in Chrysler increased to 53.5% and in September 2011, Marchionne was also elected Chairman of Chrysler. Fiat and Chrysler officially merged under Marchionne's leadership on August 1, 2014.[15]

Health problems and replacement

On 21 July 2018, Marchionne was suddenly replaced as CEO of FCA by Michael Manley following an emergency meeting of the company's board of directors the day before[16][17][18] Marchionne had not been seen in public since June 26th, with FCA stating on July 5th that he had taken medical leave to undergo shoulder surgery; on the day of his replacement FCA stated that he would not be able to return to work due to "complications" from his surgery.[19] It was later reported that Marchionne was "gravely ill" and that his health had deteriorated "suddenly and sharply"; FCA chairman John Elkann issued a statement saying, "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."[20] Italian media sources reported the move was triggered because Marchionne had fallen into a coma due to a lung cancer.[21][22][23]

Marchionne received many comments and thoughts by many Italian political leaders like former Prime Ministers Matteo Renzi and Paolo Gentiloni. Renzi stated stated "Marchionne has been a major player in the Italian economic life of the last 15 years. With him I shared many choices, I have always discussed and sometimes argued. He managed to give Fiat a future when it seemed impossible. He created jobs, not unemployment subsidies. Chapeau."[24] While Gentiloni tweeted "Marchionne did an extraordinary job. Many have criticized him, but those who remember the Fiat crisis of twenty years ago can realize what courage and vision he had. An example for everyone."[25]

Honors and awards

  • Cavaliere del Lavoro – 1 June 2006 [26]
  • Honorary Doctor of Laws from the University of Windsor (Canada), 15 October 2005
  • Masters honoris causa from the CUOA Foundation (Italy), 30 November 2007
  • Degree in Economics honoris causa from the Università degli Studi di Cassino, 5 October 2007
  • On 27 May 2008, he received a degree ad honorem in Industrial Engineering and Management from Polytechnic University in Turin (Italy) for:

…significant achievement as an international manager and for turning around Italy’s largest industrial group, revitalizing its image and competitive capability around the world

  • Honorary Doctor of Business Administration from the University of Toledo (Ohio), 8 May 2011
  • On 5 November 2010, Marchionne was awarded the Premio Pico della Mirandola.[27]
  • On 2 November 2011, Marchionne was awarded The Deming Cup 2011 for operational excellence presented by W. Edwards Deming Center at Columbia Business School.[28]
  • On 5 December 2011, The Business Council for International Understanding honored Marchionne with the Dwight D. Eisenhower Leadership Award[29][30]
  • On 17 November 2015, Marchionne was awarded the Hennick Medal for Career Achievement at Osgoode Hall Law School, York University by The Hennick Centre for Business and Law.


Marchionne in 2008

In February 2011 Marchionne sparked widespread controversy in the U.S. when he remarked at the J.D. Power & Associates International Automotive Roundtable that Chrysler's bail-out loans from the U.S. government carried "shyster rates".[31] Expressing his discontent with the very high interest rates Chrysler had been obliged to pay, he also drew criticism from several quarters for use of the Yiddish term "shyster" which was felt to have an anti-Semitic undertone.[32]

Marchionne immediately issued a public apology, stating "I regret the remark and consider it inappropriate" and going on to explain that "As the only parties willing to underwrite the risk associated with Chrysler’s recovery plan, the two governments [U.S. and Canadian] levied interest rates that, although appropriate at the time, are above current market conditions."[33]

Marchionne has also earned a reputation for being overly blunt and outspoken, which has drawn both praise and criticism.[34][35][36] In a 2009 Forbes interview, Massimo Vecchio, an analyst with Mediobanca, commented on the contrast and Marchionne's controversial management style, stating: "He's got a lot of American in his management style. The only thing that matters to him is results. If you don't deliver, you are out. He is quite ruthless. When Marchionne took over the company [Fiat], he was literally firing one manager a day but there was a leadership problem and nobody wanted to take hard decisions. The communication from bottom to top in management was slow and wrong. He also changed that. He reduced the layers of management and gave his role a more direct view of what the business was doing. And of course his ego is very big and sometimes people who had clashes with him were basically fired. Looking at his style from outside it seems awful, but he delivered."[37]

Following the 2015 Volkswagen emissions scandal, in January 2017, the EPA also accused Fiat Chrysler of illegally installing software that allowed excess diesel emissions to go undetected. Marchionne denied any wrongdoing, and while he was critical of the EPA, also rejected comparisons between Fiat Chrysler and Volkswagen.[38][39][40][41]


Marchionne is known for wearing almost exclusively black woolen sweaters.[42] Reporters noted that he hasn't been seen wearing a necktie since 2007.[43]

See also


  1. "Europe: Sergio Marchionne re-elected president of ACEA". Automotive World. 2007-01-12. Retrieved 2012-09-01.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  2. "UBS Plans to Cut Chairman's Next Term After Subprime Losses". International Herald Tribune. Retrieved 2008-02-27.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  3. Tommaso Ebhardt (May 26, 2015). "Fiat CEO's merger confession called 'spot on'". The Wall Street Journal.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  4. "Fiat Burning Rubber". BusinessWeek. Retrieved 2007-05-17.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  5. "Fiat Net Profit Soars as Automaker Promises the First Dividend Since 2002". Retrieved 2007-05-17.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  6. "Fiat Chrysler to spin off Ferrari, issue $2.5 billion convertible bond". Reuters. 2014-10-29. Retrieved 2015-07-11.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  7. Jackie Wattles; Chris Isidore; Peter Valdes-Dapena (2018-07-21). "Sergio Marchionne, auto legend, steps down as CEO of Fiat Chrysler". CNN. Retrieved 2018-07-22.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  8. ""Marchionne Sergio CV" (PDF). Fiat Group. Retrieved 2012-01-02" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 2012-07-17. Retrieved 2012-09-01. Unknown parameter |deadurl= ignored (help)<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  9. "Emigrazione Abruzzese". Archived from the original on 2011-07-22.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  10. "2011 CGA Fellowship Recipients". 2011-12-12. Retrieved 2012-09-01.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  11. "Sergio Marchionne BComm '79, MBA '85, Alumni Association, University of Windsor".<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  12. "York in the Media". Y-File. Retrieved 2007-05-17.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  13. "Sergio Marchionne". Retrieved 9 August 2017.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  14. Noah Joseph RSS feed. "BREAKING: Marchionne confirmed as post-bankruptcy Chrysler CEO". Retrieved 2012-09-01.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  15. "APPROVAL OF CROSS-BORDER MERGER TO CREATE FIAT CHRYSLER AUTOMOBILES N.V. (FCA)" (PDF). Fiat S.p.A. Retrieved 20 September 2015.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  16. "Fiat Names Jeep Chief Manley to Replace CEO Marchionne".<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  17. Editorial, Reuters. "Fiat, Ferrari boards to meet on Marchionne succession - report".<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  18. Editorial, Reuters. "Fiat Chrysler to name Jeep's Manley to replace Marchionne as CEO -..."<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  19. Fiat Chrysler Paints Grim Picture of Marchionne's Health
  20. "Fiat Chrysler Abruptly Replaces Marchionne as C.E.O." |first= missing |last= (help)<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  22. Sergio Marchionne, l'indiscrezione sulla sua salute: "Malato di tumore al polmone", "è in coma"
  24. Matteo Renzi su Twitter: "Marchionne è stato un grande protagonista della vita economica degli ultimi 15 anni. Con lui ho condiviso molte scelte, discusso sempre, litigato talvolta. E' riuscito a dare un futuro alla Fiat, quando sembrava impossibile. Ha creato posti di lavoro, non cassintegrati. Chapeau
  25. Paolo Gentiloni su Twitter: "Marchionne ha fatto un lavoro straordinario. Molti lo hanno criticato ma chi ha memoria della crisi Fiat di vent’anni fa si rende conto di cosa possono fare il coraggio e la visione. Un esempio per tutti"
  26. "Sito web del Quirinale: dettaglio decorato". Retrieved 2012-09-01.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  27. "Marchionne viene contestato per aver ricevuto il premio Pico 2010". Retrieved 2012-09-01.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  28. "Chrysler Group Chairman and CEO Sergio Marchionne Awarded Deming Cup by Columbia Business School". Fiat Chrysler Automobiles. 4 November 2011. Retrieved 7 March 2017.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  29. "Chrysler Group Chairman and CEO Sergio Marchionne Awarded Global Leadership Award by Business Council for International Understanding".<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  30. "BCIU Gala". Archived from the original on 2012-06-24. Unknown parameter |deadurl= ignored (help)<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  31. Rachel Sanderson and John Reed (6 February 2011). "Fiat in firestorm for floating Detroit move". Financial Times. Retrieved 7 February 2011.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  32. Michael J. de la Merced (6 February 2011). "Chrysler Chief Apologizes for Comment on Terms of U.S. Loans". The New York Times. Retrieved 7 February 2011.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  33. Dan Hart (5 February 2011). "Chrysler's Marchionne Says Calling Loans `Shyster Rates' Was Inappropriate". Bloomberg News. Retrieved 7 February 2011.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  34. Kristine Owram (14 July 2015). "Sergio Marchionne has nothing to fear from the Ontario government". Financial Post. Retrieved 7 March 2017.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  35. "The New Iacocca: Chrysler CEO Marchionne Is Already Sorry He Opened His Mouth". CBS News. 7 February 2011. Retrieved 7 March 2017.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  36. Dana Flavelle (7 March 2014). "Chrysler chief Sergio Marchionne: straight shooter, tough negotiator". The Toronto Star. Retrieved 7 March 2017.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  37. Javier Espinoza (14 April 2009). "Can Sergio Marchionne Save Chrysler?". Forbes. Retrieved 7 March 2017.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  38. David Shepardson; Bernie Woodall (13 January 2017). "EPA accuses Fiat Chrysler of excess diesel emissions". Reuters. Retrieved 7 March 2017.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  39. Hiroko Tabuchi (12 January 2017). "E.P.A. Accuses Fiat Chrysler of Secretly Violating Emissions Standards". The New York Times. Retrieved 7 March 2017.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  40. Nathan Bomey (12 January 2017). "EPA accuses Fiat Chrysler of cheating emissions laws". USA today. Retrieved 7 March 2017.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  41. Tom Krisher; Michael Biesecker (12 January 2017). "Fiat Chrysler accused of emission cheating by U.S." The Toronto Star. Retrieved 7 March 2017.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  42. "Why Chrysler boss Sergio Marchionne always wears black - The Star".<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  43. "FCA CEO Sergio Marchionne surprises audience with this fashion choice".<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>

External links