Sergio Marchionne has brought forward his decision to step down as Ferrari president and CEO of the Fiat Group, his replacement is thought to be announced soon.
Marchionne, 66, has been Fiat chief for 14 years and played a crucial role in helping the group recover from a dismal 2003, where they announced a loss of $6billion, to give them the stability and global reach they sought. He had also been a major figure in Scuderia Ferrari‘s restructuring in 2016 and bringing Alfa Romeo back into Formula 1, through the Sauber F1 Team.
It is believed that Marchionne had decided to leave his duties at the end of 2018, but recent shoulder surgery and resulting recovery leave has accelerated his decision. Meetings have taken place today regarding his replacement, with the frontrunner emerging as Louis Camilleri. Camilleri previously held the title of Philip Morris International chairman, a company with a strong and lengthy link with Ferrari, and is a member of the Ferrari board.
His departure leaves Alfa Romeo’s future in the sport as an unknown and brings Sauber’s recent decision to freeze development on their 2018 in favour for a stronger 2019 package into question. The team are rumoured to replace young star Charles Leclerc, believed to be leaving the team at the end of the year for Ferrari, with a number of reputable names, including a return for Kimi Räikkönen and salvation for the McLaren F1 Team‘s Stoffel Vandoorne.
Marchionne had also been very vocal about Ferrari’s future involvement in F1, threatening to withdraw the team on numerous occasions due to the proposed regulation changes for the 2021 season not meeting with Ferrari’s liking.
Ferrari and Fiat are currently refraining from making any comments regarding Marchionne’s departure.