Mike Manley, in his first public statement as Fiat Chrysler's CEO, opened the automaker's second-quarter conference call with a tribute to predecessor Sergio Marchionne:
"I'm going to begin today by talking about Sergio. We received the news this morning that Sergio had passed away and clearly, this is a very sad and difficult time and our thoughts and prayers go out to Sergio's family, friends and colleagues.
"Now personally, having spent the last nine years of my life seeing or talking to Sergio almost on a daily basis, this morning's news is heartbreaking and I know that it will also be heartbreaking for many other people. 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.
"I don't think that there is anything I could say about Sergio's exceptional leadership and character that isn't known by all of you on this call. And over the years I've worked for Sergio, I've listened to or watched many of the interactions that you and him have had together -- and what was absolutely clear to me is that he truly had a special relationship with you. Now I know that from his perspective this relationship was based upon transparency, delivery but most importantly, respect.
"Now, I have read many of the reports you've recently published about Sergio since the news of his health became public, and I've also seen numerous messages of support both to the company and to Sergio's family. I can tell you those messages mean a lot, and I'd like to personally thank you for them. So, before we get on the call, if I may, I'd like us to take a minute's silence in memory of a very special person."