Italian luxurysports carmaker Ferrari said on Saturday it had appointed board member Louis Camilleri as its new chief executive, replacing Sergio Marchionne who is seriously ill. Marchionne, 66, had surgery on his right shoulder and needed a short period of recovery, an FCA spokesman told Italian business website Lettera 43 on July 5. He has not been seen in public since June 26, when he delivered a Jeep Wrangler to the Italian police in Rome.
In an emergency meeting called after Marchionne’s health worsened, the Ferrari board also named John Elkann as chairman and gave Camilleri powers to oversee the company’s operations.
Marchionne was both CEO and chairman of Ferrari. He has also been replaced as Fiat Chrysler CEO. A Ferrari shareholder meeting will be called in the coming days to approve his appointment. “The board’s thoughts are with Sergio Marchionne and his family and it is grateful for the extraordinary contribution he has made in recent years at the helm of Ferrari,” the company said in the statement.
Marchionne was due to step down as head of Fiat Chrysler in spring next year, but planned to stay on as Ferrari chairman and CEO until 2021.
Ferrari is now entrusting its future to a longtime food-and-tobacco executive who for decades helped steer the Marlboro brand. The 63-year-old ran Kraft Foods in the 1990s and then Philip Morris. When the company split with Altria Group Inc. in 2008 — a move to focus on global markets, rather than the U.S. — Camilleri stayed with the Philip Morris operation.