Over 14 years at the helm of what’s now Fiat Chrysler Automobiles, CEO Sergio Marchionne transformed a middling European automaker into a global giant. Here is a timeline of some key moments during his tenure.
Marchionne, then serving as CEO of goods inspector SGS SA, is appointed CEO of Fiat. He pledged to complete a turnaround plan initiated by his predecessor to end years of losses, and soon made plans to revamp Fiat’s organization to make it more efficient.
Marchionne extracts $2 billion from General Motors Corp. to end a dispute over the ownership of their Fiat Auto joint venture, and makes plans to terminate other alliances with the U.S. automaker.
Fiat takes ownership of Chrysler assets, pledging to re-open factories idled during its U.S. government-steered bankruptcy. Marchionne commits no cash, instead pledging to share engineering resources and technology with the struggling U.S. company.
Fiat spins off its industrial assets as a precursor to creating a global automotive company, combining its own operations with Chrysler’s.
The merged Fiat Chrysler Automobiles makes its debut on the New York Stock Exchange. Shortly afterward, the company announces a spin-off of luxury brand Ferrari.
Ferrari NV, with Marchionne as chairman, begins trading in New York with a market value of about $10 billion. That success came after GM rebuffed attempts by Marchionne to instigate a merger that would create the world’s largest automaker.
Marchionne puts major merger attempts on hold to focus on cutting debt at Fiat Chrysler.
Marchionne unveils a five-year plan for Fiat Chrysler, aimed at doubling profit and restoring dividends for the first time since the 2014 merger. The company also plans to invest 9 billion euros ($11 billion) in electrifying its fleet through 2022.
With his health faltering, the 66-year-old is replaced with Mike Manley, head of the Jeep and Ram brands, who led a successful global expansion of Jeep. Marchionne’s worsening condition accelerated the succession.