Somebody Knew Fiat Chrysler CEO Marchionne Was Sick

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Marchionne's unexpected death and the lack of information released by Fiat Chrysler have generated media speculation about how much the company knew and what it should have disclosed. Regarded as a savior of Fiat, Italy's automotive champion, the Italian-born Marchionne set in motion the marriage between Fiat and bankrupt US rival Chrysler just over a decade ago.

Exor SpA, the company that controls Fiat Chrysler, on Wednesday announced the passing of Sergio Marchionne?.

The Italian auto giant scrambled for a succession plan late last week after reports that Marchionne, 66, was gravely ill after suffering serious complications following surgery on his right shoulder last month.

On Saturday, FCA named Jeep division head Manley, 54, as head of the world's seventh-largest carmaker, saying the Briton would execute a strategy that Marchionne had outlined in June.

University Hospital Zurich declined to comment on Marchionne's illness, but said it deeply regretted his death and expressed its condolences to his family.

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"All of us at Ferrari feel privileged to have worked alongside a courageous leader like Sergio Marchionne, a man of enormous humanity and intelligence".

It was Marchionne's success in turning around a pair of Swiss businesses that drew the attention of the Agnelli family.

He studied philosophy, law and management in Canada and his first job there was as a tax specialist at Deloitte and Touche. In 1985, he joined a Toronto-based packaging company called The Lawson Group as its chief financial officer. Just two years later Marchionne had returned the company to a profit by wringing some $2 billion from an alliance with General Motors and drastically cutting costs.

In 2009, he merged Fiat with USA automaker Chrysler, then hived off its industrial vehicles unit in 2011 to create CNH Industrial and successfully spun off the luxury brand Ferrari in January 2016. He was set to retire from Fiat Chrysler in April 2019, but no successor among those jostling for the position had been chosen. His contribution was acknowledged by auto industry leaders and politicians in many countries, including Apple CEO Tim Cook, U.S. President Donald Trump, and Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.

A divorced father of two, he died on Wednesday surrounded by his partner Manuela, and his two sons, Alessio and Tyler.