The auto industry mourns Sergio Marchionne
Ford Motor Chairman Bill Ford and Renault-Nissan Chairman were among corporate and political leaders from around the world including President Trump who paid tribute to former Fiat Chrysler CEO Sergio Marchionne, who died Wednesday after succumbing to complications from surgery. Marchionne was 66.
Following reports of the death of longtime Fiat Chrysler CEO Sergio Marchionne, President Donald Trump, along with corporate and political leaders from around the world, recalled the entrepreneur's uncanny mindset and his role in transforming the industry. Marchionne was 66.
New Fiat Chrysler CEO Mike Manley, during the automaker's second-quarter conference call: "This morning's news is heartbreaking. ... There is no doubt that Sergio was a very special unique man and there is no doubt that he's going to be sorely missed."
Fiat Chrysler CFO Richard Palmer on the company’s second-quarter earnings call: “Before I start my part of the presentation, I just want to echo Mike’s comments regarding SM. He really was a unique human being. I am very grateful personally to have worked alongside him over the last 12 years. I know his style would clearly have been to get on with the job, so I would like to move forward with the presentation.”
Ford Executive Chairman Bill Ford: "Sergio Marchionne was one of the most respected leaders in the industry whose creativity and bold determination helped to restore Chrysler to financial health and grow Fiat Chrysler into a profitable global automaker. His extraordinary leadership, candor and passion for the industry will be missed by everyone who knew him. Our thoughts and prayers go out to his family at this difficult time."
General Motors CEO Mary Barra: "We at General Motors offer our condolences to Sergio Marchionne's family and friends. Sergio created a remarkable legacy in the automotive industry. Our thoughts are also with our industry colleagues at Fiat Chrysler as they deal with this sudden loss."
Daimler CEO Dieter Zetsche, who once ran Chrysler, tweeted: “The auto industry has lost a real giant.”
GM CFO Chuck Stevens: "We're all saddened by the news this morning on Sergio Marchionne's passing. We had a deep amount of respect for Sergio and what he's met for the industry."
Carlos Ghosn, Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi: "Our entire team at Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi were saddened to learn of the death of Sergio Marchionne. At this difficult time, we would like to express our sympathies to the Marchionne family, to our colleagues at Fiat Chrysler, Ferrari and CNH International."
PSA Group CEO Carlos Tavares: "I am deeply saddened by this loss and extend my sincere condolences to the family of Sergio Marchionne. I salute the memory of a great captain of industry who will remain an example for us all."
Aston Martin CEO Andy Palmer: “We are deeply saddened to learn of the passing of Sergio Marchionne. On behalf of all of us at Aston Martin Lagonda, @astonmartin I would like to extend our sincere sympathies and condolences to his family, friends and colleagues at Fiat Chrysler Automobiles @fiat."
Bob Lutz, former GM vice chairman, said on CNBC: "I think he was a very effective leader and one of his hallmarks is he had a very clear vision of where he wanted to go and what he wanted to do. Whether it was popular or not or whether there was consensus in the company or not, he would pursue that.
"…Unfortunately, extremely nice people who try to be accommodating to everybody’s wishes almost never get anything done, especially in a large corporation. I knew him as a brilliant leader, wasn’t afraid to speak his mind, sometimes opened himself to ridicule. His fundamental ideas were always correct ... I think he’ll be remembered for basically saving two companies at the same time.”
Klaus Busse, FCA's head of design, wrote on Twitter: “Design reviews with him weren’t easy… if he did not like what he saw he made sure you knew (and in hindsight he was always right). When he liked it, it came with a cliffhanger “what the f… is this? - it looks amazing!”. Will miss him. RIP @SergioMarchionne”
The New York Stock Exchange: "We mourn the passing of auto industry legend Sergio Marchionne. He helped multiple companies (Fiat Chrysler, Ferrari, CNH Industrial) tap the public markets, creating thousands of jobs across the globe. Here he is pictured in 2015, the day he took Ferrari public. #RIPSergio"
Francesca Re David, head of Italian metalworkers union Fiom: "(He was) a man with whom we have had bitter clashes over the years and who represented a model of relations with the unions which was at the center of a deep conflict with Fiom. Marchionne has been an adversary whose value we recognize. To his family, we send the condolences of our organization."
U.S. President Donald Trump, in a tweet sent on Wednesday afternoon, wrote: "Sergio Marchionne, who passed away today, was one of the most brilliant & successful car executives since the days of the legendary Henry Ford. It was a great honor for me to get to know Sergio as POTUS, he loved the car industry, and fought hard for it. He will be truly missed!"
Marchionne and Trump met several times over the last two years, most recently in May when auto industry leaders met with him to discuss changes in fuel efficiency standards. Trump repeated his ongoing calls for automakers to produce more vehicles in the United States and singled out Marchionne.
"Right now, he [Marchionne] is my favorite person in the room," the president said during the meeting.
Reuters contributed to this report