Sergio Marchionne launched juicy quotes with a damn-the-torpedoes gusto rare in the corporate world. Here are some of his most famous broadsides and observations.
"I am not going to do any more turnarounds. I'm done; let some of the young punks do it. ... There are a number of things that the next CEO will do which are totally different from what I do. The role as presently configured will have to be reconfigured."
"When I present figures like these, I am conscious of President Lyndon Johnson's admonition: ‘Did you ever think making a speech about economics is a lot like pissing down your leg? It seems hot to you, but it never does to anyone else.'"
"You have to shoot me first."
"It will probably happen, but it will happen in Ferrari's style."
"I think it's healthy. I think it may break a couple of bones, but it will reconstitute a much stronger organism. And so, I invite them in. I invite the Apples, I invite Uber, I invite Google. They should all come, and we're talking to them all."
"Every time I sell one, it costs me $14,000."
"I am envious of some of the margins that I see coming out of our suppliers — absolutely mesmerized by some of the double-digit performances. And, unfortunately, when I see this, my blood pressure goes up."
"Contrary to what some of my colleagues believe, we are not in the mobility business. We don't move people around. ... At the end of the day, we are only building the tools that allow people to be mobile."
"The hog days are over. If you're assuming that ... once we're out of jail, we're going to start distributing cash indiscriminately and return to the old ways of sin ... we're not going to do that."
"I'm not sleeping on the floor. You need to be Elon's age to do that. I'm too old for that crap."
"I underestimated Elon. I like him a lot. I like him, and I think he's the real deal as a disrupter. I think he sees things that other people don't see. Do I think everything he says ... will materialize on his time frame with the kind of industrial dynamics that he sees? I think the chances are less than 50 [percent] ... but his value to me as an industry participant is that he's a phenomenal disrupter, and this industry needs disruption — as much as we all worry about that disruption."
"Look, I'm a tough negotiator, and people know it, right? I am who I am, but so what? Send somebody else in. Send the shark. I'd come off the table."
"As long as I'm the CEO of Fiat and Chrysler, Mr. Piech will never have Alfa. ... I told him in his face. I'm repeating it publicly, and I'll send him an email, if you like."
"We aren't deal junkies. ... It is incorrect to assume that Fiat Chrysler hinges, that its future hinges, on the ability to do a deal."
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