Marchionne Adding CEO to Title at Ferrari?

FCA boss could step in next month.

by on Aug.28, 2015

FCA CEO Sergio Marchionne appears poised to add the chief executive officer's title at Ferrari to his chairman's role.

Just as Ferrari is preparing to stand on its own two feet, the man who led the effort, Sergio Marchionne, may be the man leading the company on a day-to-day basis as its new CEO.

Marchionne, who heads up Fiat Chrysler Automobiles N.V., is already the Italian sports car maker’s chairman. He’s rumored to be taking over the Chief Executive’s role when the current CEO, Amedeo Felisa, steps down next month.

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Felisa, who has been CEO for seven years, has been rumored to be leaving the post since July and the maker has been searching for a replacement since then. Marchionne, who’s already replaced a top exec at the company, Luca Cordero di Montezemolo, appears to be the choice.

Marchionne took over for Montezemolo last fall as the winner in a dispute over the production levels. Marchionne wanted to increase the maker’s output to 10,000 units annually amid complaints from dealers that they needed more product.

Montezemolo spent much of his tenure atop the org chart restraining production, contending the exclusivity of Ferrari is what keeps demand high. What also kept buyers wanting a Prancing Horse in their driveway was the company’s success on the F1 racing circuit.

However, Ferrari’s had some tough sledding during the end of Montezemolo’s time as chairman. At a company where the racing budget routinely exceeded the production vehicle budget and 14 World Drivers and Constructors Cup championships, a tough stretch is unfathomable.

(FCA sets Ferrari IPO into motion. For more, Click Here.)

Combine arguing with your boss, Marchionne, who has the support of the parent company, Fiat SpA, and a marginal result on the race track, Montezemolo saw the writing on the wall and left the company.

(Click Here for details about Ferrari turbocharging the new 488 GTB.)

Once out the door, Marchionne took over as chairman and announced production levels would rise to 10,000 units annually. Additionally, new products — previously not favored by Montezemolo — such as utility vehicle will get a second look.

(To see more about why FCA delayed the spinoff of Ferrari, Click Here.)

Succeeding Felisa, who joined Ferrari as an engineer in 1990, will only cement his ability to lead the newly independent automaker with his vision … and to increased profits.

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3 Responses to “Marchionne Adding CEO to Title at Ferrari?”

  1. Jorge says:

    For $23 million a year in compensation he gets lots of titles. I don’t see Marchionne as a good fit as CEO at Ferrari at all so this should be interesting.

    • Paul A. Eisenstein says:

      I personally have huge respect for Marchionne…but that said, I think Ferrari needs a truly dedicated, hands-on fanatically dedicated CEO who lives and breathes the brand. Marchionne is a brilliant man and good at deputizing, but this is about a brand where passion makes the business case work, not the other way around.

      Paul E.

  2. EAJ says:

    Agree Paul, with the Scuderia you cannot be a “oh, I’ll stop next week” CEO – you nee to be there 24/7/365.

    What’s that? No, that’s not the sound of a GTB V12-4 cam singing at 8000rpm; that’s Enzo spinning in the his grave (again)…