TURIN -- The home of Fiat bid farewell to Sergio Marchionne, one of the auto industry's most exacting and determined leaders, who rescued the Italian automaker and Chrysler.
The Italian-Canadian CEO died in July, aged 66, after succumbing to complications from surgery, ending a 14-year career at the wheel of Fiat and the later combined Fiat Chrysler Automobiles, which he built.
On Friday, more than 2,000 people -- including townsfolk, FCA workers, politicians, and corporate executives -- gathered in a packed Turin cathedral for a memorial service to honor the man who masterminded two long-shot corporate turnarounds.
Fiat's founding Agnelli family were there in numbers, including FCA chairman John Elkann. Pirelli boss Marco Tronchetti Provera and former Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi also attended the funeral.
Marchionne achieved what many thought impossible, most notably his huge gamble just over a decade ago when he set in motion the marriage between the then-ailing Fiat with bankrupt U.S. rival Chrysler. It is now the world's seventh-largest carmaker and is debt-free.
"You have taught all of us to think differently, to have courage to change and to do. And not to be afraid. Dear Friend, Rest In Peace," Elkann said in an address that was unusually emotional for the Agnelli scion.