Sergio Marchionne, Savior of Chrysler, Has Passed Away at 66
It all started as routine shoulder surgeryby Robert Moore, on
Sergio Marchionne, the man who saved Chrysler from going belly up during the 2009 recession, has passed away at the age of 66. He was recently admitted to the hospital for routine should surgery but took a turn for the worst shortly thereafter. Reports came in early in the week that he had been placed on life support without expectation of recovering. He passed away shortly thereafter, leaving behind two sons and a legacy of hard work and dedication that can never be forgotten.
“Unfortunately, what we feared has come to pass. Sergio Marchionne, man, and friend is gone," John Elkann, chairman of FCA, said in a statement.
Those are grim words, no doubt. Earlier in the week, FCA, Ferrari, and CNH Industrial took steps to replace him and announce that he would be unable to work. Now that he’s gone, it’s important to remember him for what he was – a dedicated worker. Reports show that he worked nearly non-stop. He took over Chrysler with no cash down during the Great Recession of 2009 and managed to turn it around, saving 300,000 jobs in the process. He even initiated the first-ever no-strike pledge with the UAW and brought FCA brands up to par with benefits and pay familiar to only familiar to those working at Toyota and Honda. He made seemingly constant trips between Italy and Detroit.
Ken Lewenza, President of Canadian Auto Workers, met with Marchionne in 2009 and had something very interesting to say:
“He looked like he just got off a 20-hour shift, and he probably had,”
He never seemed to stop, and he requested the same from his executives, and it drove some of them away, but those who stayed grew into positions they didn’t think were possible. And, that’s exactly what it took to keep a brand like FCA afloat in one of the darkest times in U.S. automotive history. With Marchionne laid to eternal rest, it’s up to Mike Manley, the former head of the Jeep Division to keep the company alive and moving at warp speed. Manley took over just this week once it was discovered that Marchionne had taken a turn for the worst. As CEO of Ferrari, he was replaced by John Elkann, former Fiat Chrysler chairman.
At this point, there’s nothing else to say and nothing to speculate. A good, hard-working man has passed away, and our hearts go out to his family and all those that worked so closely with him. May he rest in peace.
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