Former Fiat Chrysler boss Sergio Marchionne has died

Sergio Marchionne, the man in black and self-proclaimed fixer who plucked Chrysler from the ashes of bankruptcy in 2009 and hitched it to Fiat to create a money-making global automaker, has died, according to a statement from Fiat Chrysler Chairman John Elkann. Today, Elkann said, "Unfortunately, what we feared has come to pass".

Former chief executive of carmaker Fiat-Chrysler, Sergio Marchionne.

The Chrysler deal was part of a long-standing campaign Marchionne had waged to spur consolidation in the auto industry, which he claimed had far too much capacity for all players to survive.

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He was handpicked by the USA government to save Chrysler and is credited with turning the dysfunctional companies into the world's seventh-largest automaker.

Tributes are pouring in from automotive leaders about Sergio Marchionne's skill, creativity and determination in saving Chrysler and Fiat from near-certain financial ruin.

Born in Italy in 1952, he moved with his family to Canada when he was 13, completing his education there.

FCA had announced at the weekend that Marchionne, 66, was gravely ill in hospital in Zurich after suffering serious complications following surgery on his right shoulder last month.

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Appointed CEO of Fiat in 2004, Marchionne became known as a no-nonsense workaholic, pushing his subordinates hard.

Marchionne was already beginning to wind down a remarkable career - he telegraphed well in advance that he planned to retire as CEO of Fiat Chrysler Automobiles in April 2019, after the conclusion of the company's 2014-18 business plan.

Fiat Chrysler Automobiles declined to comment, citing privacy issues.

Marchionne was handed an automaker that lost more than 6 billion euros ($7 billion) in 2003. He later consolidated his reputation as a turnaround specialist at SGS SA, a Geneva-based product-testing company at the time controlled by the Agnelli family.

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To his partner, Manuela, his wife Orlandina, and children, Alessio and Jonathan, Pitpass, on behalf of its readers offers its honest condolences. When Marchionne was named chief executive, Fiat had gone through five CEOs in less than two years. In 2009, he organized a merger with Chrysler in the USA and formed Fiat Chrysler Automobiles, becoming CEO of the new company.

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