Autos

One Family Controls Who Will Be Next CEO of Fiat Chrysler

Fiat Chrysler Automobiles N.V. (NYSE: FCAU) and Ferrari N.V. (NYSE: RACE) CEO Sergio Marchionne will not return to his posts following a hospital stay of several weeks, according to sources who spoke to Bloomberg. The boards of both companies are meeting Saturday to name replacements for Marchionne, who has been Fiat’s CEO since 2004 and Ferrari’s since it was spun off in 2015.

The decision to replace the 66-year old Marchionne, who was scheduled to retire next year, was made by John Elkann, FCA’s board chair and the scion of the Agnelli family that owns a controlling stake of nearly 50% of the voting power of FCA through its Netherlands-based holding company Exor.

The firm also controls CNH Industrial, a maker of agricultural equipment; Juventus FC, a top Italian soccer club; The Economist Group, publishers of the Economist magazine; and insurance company Partner Re. Exor sold real-estate brokerage firm Cushman & Wakefield to private equity firm TPG for $2 billion in 2015. TPG is currently shopping an IPO for Cushman & Wakefield that values the company at $6 billion, including debt.

According to Bloomberg’s report, Elkann will take over as chair of FCA and current FCA Chief Financial Officer Richard Palmer is a leading candidate to replace Marchionne as chief executive officer.

Elkann, 42, was handpicked as heir to the Agnelli fortune by his grandfather, the late Gianni Agnelli, who built the Fiat empire. Elkann was appointed to Fiat’s board in 1997 when he was just 21 years old and became vice-chair when his grandfather died in 2003. Exor was formed in 2009 to handle the Agnelli family business.

According to its 2017 annual report, Exor reported net revenues of €143.43 billion, pretax profit of €7.76 billion and net profit attributable to owners of the parent firm of €$1.39 billion. The company’s stake in FCA amounts to 42.34% of voting rights, and its voting share of Ferrari totals 32.75%.

Ferrari board member and former chair of Philip Morris International, Louis Carey Camilleri, will be Ferrari’s new CEO, according to a Bloomberg source. Camilleri, 61, made headlines last year as the “tobacco tycoon millionaire boyfriend” of supermodel Naomi Campbell.

Marchionne also holds positions as chair of CNH Industrial and non-executive vice-chair of Exor. A replacement for Marchionne at CNH is also expected to be announced Saturday.

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