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Sergio Marchionne, longtime FCA head, has died at 66 years of age

Former FCA Group boss Sergio Marchionne, 66 years of age, died this morning in a Swiss hospital. We reported earlier this week that the longtime automotive executive’s health had taken a dramatic downturn as he recovered following a surgical procedure on his shoulder last month. On Monday, FCA had been obliged to replace him immediately at the head of the automotive company.

Sergio Marchionne had fallen into a coma on the weekend, and his doctors stated that the likelihood of permanent brain damage was high.    

His death this morning leaves family, friends and the automotive industry to mourn the passing of a legendary figure.

For many, Marchionne was the very face of FCA.  

He had become highly visible on this side of the Atlantic since the Fiat-Chrysler merger. Here in Canada, his presence at the head of an automotive giant had a touch of added local flavour, since Marchionne had spent time in Canada during his early years, when he completed internships in Toronto, Windsor and Montreal.

In Italy, where Sergio Marchionne was born in 1952, his passing hits particularly close to home.

Within the automotive domain, he is being remembered as a man not afraid to pursue an unorthodox approach, but who was able to transform Fiat’s fortunes and ensure FCA’s progress over the past nine years.

His distinct style and vision will be sorely missed by all those charged with following in his path.