The Associated Press from Rome:
Fiat Chrysler Automobile announced Saturday that CEO Sergio Marchionne’s health had suddenly deteriorated following surgery and that its board of directors had chosen Jeep executive Mike Manley to replace him.
Marchionne, a 66-year-old Italian-Canadian, joined Fiat in 2004 and led the Turin-based company’s merger with bankrupt U.S. carmaker Chrysler. Manley, 54, had been heading the Jeep brand since June 2009 and the Ram brand from October 2015.
The announcement, at the end of an urgently convened board meeting, marked the end of the Marchionne era, which included the turnaround of failing Fiat. the takeover of bankrupt U.S. automaker Chrysler and the spinoffs of the heavy machinery and truck maker CNH and supercar maker Ferrari.
Fiat Chrysler said in a statement that due to his deteriorating health Marchionne “will be unable to return to work.”
Marchionne, 66, had announced he would step down in early 2019, so the board’s decision, to be confirmed at an upcoming shareholders’ meeting, will “accelerate” the CEO transition process, the statement said.