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FCA names replacement for seriously ill CEO Sergio Marchionne

Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA) head Sergio Marchionne is battling serious health problems, forcing the company to replace him as CEO immediately, ahead of his scheduled retirement next spring. The reins of the automotive giant will be taken by Mike Manley, head of the Jeep and RAM divisions.

Marchionne had been recovering from shoulder surgery for the past month, but complications arose and the 69-year-old executive’s condition worsened dramatically on Saturday. The company issued a statement regarding Marchionne’s condition and its reluctant but necessary decision to replace him, effective immediately.

“With reference to the health of Sergio Marchionne, Fiat Chrysler Automobiles NV communicates with profound sorrow that during the course of this week unexpected complications arose while Mr. Marchionne was recovering from surgery and that these have worsened significantly in recent hours.”

- FCA statement

The situation for the former FCA boss is apparently quite serious. Italian newspaper La Repubblica has reported that his condition is not reversible, and Marchionne is no longer responsive. Wrote Italian journalist Paolo Madron on his Twitter account, “The man has fallen into a deep coma.”

Marchionne had been with the FCA group since 2004. He had planned to retire as CEO of the group in April 2019, and stay on at the head of Ferrari until 2021. He will be replaced at the head of Ferrari by Fiat chairman John Elkann.