MILAN (Bloomberg) -- Sergio Marchionne, Fiat's chief executive officer and the architect of its merger with Chrysler, plans to step down after completing a five-year strategic plan to expand the combined carmakers.
Marchionne, who is also Chrysler CEO, said he will "undoubtedly" do something else after the end of 2018, adding "I am not going to do any more turnarounds. I'm done; let some of the young punks do it."
Marchionne, 62, is the longest serving CEO of any major European automaker. He said his role may be split among more than one executive. "There are a number of things that the next CEO will do which are totally different from what I do," he said in an interview with Bloomberg Businessweek at the Balocco test track in northern Italy. "The role as presently configured will have to be reconfigured."
Chairman John Elkann, 38, is not a candidate. Elkann is the leading member of the Agnelli clan, which founded Fiat and is still the company’s biggest shareholder. He plans to maintain the current arrangement of having a family member as chairman and a professional manager as leader of the group. "The most important thing is clarity," Elkann, who hired Marchionne from Swiss testing company SGS, said at the Balocco track. The family's non-executive role "has worked well," he said.
Elkann last year mentioned executives such as CNH Industrial CEO Richard Tobin; Alfredo Altavilla, Fiat's European chief; Mike Manley, head of the Jeep brand; and Cledorvino Belini, head of Fiat in Brazil, as managers who could eventually replace Marchionne.