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Every Ship Needs A Captain

23 July 2018 by lberuti

Sergio Marchionne engineered both the turnarounds of Italian carmaker Fiat which he took over in 2004, and Chrysler, which Fiat acquired in 2009 in a deal with the US government, creating FCAIM ( Fiat Chrysler Automobiles ), the world’s seventh-largest carmaker, out of two formerly dysfunctional entities. He steadied the ship, and even announced last month in his most recent presentation to analysts that the quarterly results would show zero debt at FCAIM for the first time. Investors learnt on Saturday, that Mr Marchionne will not lead the next earning presentation on Wednesday and that he actually had to leave the company with immediate effect due to ill health. The board of the company named Jeep executive Mike Manley as CEO, which in turn triggered the resignation of FCAIM’s European chief, Alfredo Altivila. His exit deprives the company of crucial management experience at a time when it will be needed most following the sudden retirement of Mr Marchionne, in an industry that could be heavily impacted if the current US trade war rhetoric were to materialise. That bout of uncertainty led investors to mark FCAIM’s 5-year risk premium 8bps wider to 180bps.