Fiat Chrysler Automobiles has confirmed former CEO Sergio Marchionne has died at age 66. The automotive industry icon recently took a turn for the worse after a surgery to remove an invasive cancer on his shoulder.
According to media reports, Marchionne had the shoulder surgery in Switzerland about three weeks ago. In recent days the executive’s condition worsened due to unexpected complications. Italian media reports suggest Marchionne suffered an embolism, impacting his brain function.
The complications ultimately led to Fiat Chrysler calling an emergency board meeting on Saturday to appoint a new CEO. The board selected Jeep brand head Mike Manley to succeed Marchionne. Marchionne was already slated to step down from Fiat Chrysler in April of next year.
Marchionne took the helm at Fiat way back in 2004 and was the mastermind behind the company’s merger with Chrysler Group in 2009. Since 2009 Marchionne has managed to craft a rather stunning turnaround for the combined company, which is expected to become debt-free by the end of the year with record levels of profit.
Marchionne is survived by his wife and two sons.