“..the era that we’re living is the era of incredibly rapid globalization and the organizations that will survive will be those that have leaders..who are open to new perspectives but are not afraid of change..”
Sergio Marchionne was CEO of FCA CEO of FCA GROUP ( FIAT CHRYSLER AUTOMOBILES) as well as CEO of FERRARI . He suddenly and unexpectedly passed away few days ago.
His rescue of Fiat via an audacious merger with Chrysler that saved both companies and created the world’s seventh largest car group, have made him one of the boldest business leaders of his generation.
Marchionne joined Fiat’s board in 2003. A year later he was made chief executive by Mr Elkann, then Agnelli’s 28-year-old heir. He was the fifth Fiat chief in a chaotic two-year period. Against all odds, he managed to return the carmaker, which had lost more than €6bn in 2003, to profit two years later by cutting costs and laying off workers. The acquisition of Chrysler appealed to his appetite for complexity and high risk. In 2009, Marchionne won the backing of US president Barack Obama who handed Fiat a 20 per cent stake in the ailing US carmaker rather than letting it go bust. Marchionne achieved full control in 2014 in getting Chrysler to pay for its own €4.35bn acquisition via a special dividend.
He focused on building brands, turning Jeep into a global brand and spinning off Ferrari at a top-end €10bn valuation. In June, he announced that Fiat Chrysler was debt free.
“..When Chrysler Group was formed four and a half years ago in alliance with FIAT , very few people were willing to bet a dollar on its survival. As one observer put it, Chrysler is most likely to be liquidated for 3 sticks of gum and a roll of pennies. But we dared to dream big and we have begun delivering on that dream. We’re now profitable we’ve announced investments of more than 5.2 billion dollars. We’ve added more than 22.000 jobs. Our US sales have increased for 44 consecutive months..”
Sergio was an illuminated leader who believed in dreams and in the energy of changes. He valued diversity and dreamed of a multicultural and pluralist society.
“Respect for others means above all respect for diversity, and all this requires great openness,” he said to the students at Politecnico of Turin, explaining which are to him the only “two ways to meet the challenges of a global era”: the first, “stay focused on ourselves and think that our culture, our beliefs are the only valid ones”, or the second, that of “the listener, of those who are aware that there are other values and other cultures, traditions and expectations. This in compliance with the rules and the social order “.
You will be missed .. Ciao Sergio!