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Fiat Chrysler's Marchionne dies, shares dive on profit slide

Fiat Chrysler's Marchionne dies, shares dive on profit slide

Sergio Marchionne, vehicle industry CEO.

Sources close to the company said they believed two other candidates - Fiat Chrysler chief financial officer Richard Palmer and Europe chief Alfredo Altavilla - had been in the running to replace Marchionne and that Elkann was also exploring an "Italian solution" by naming an Italian-born CEO.

Former Fiat Chrysler and Ferrari CEO Sergio Marchionne died on Wednesday after complications from shoulder surgery.

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His passing was confirmed Wednesday by John Elkann, grandson of Gianni Agnelli and chairman of EXOR, the investment company that controls FCA.

Away from the track, Marchionne was a key player in the high stakes political and commercial sub-plots that dominate the paddock.

By this year, Mr Marchionne had managed to wipe out the group's near-$13bn (£10bn) debt pile, something he described as a "healing" process for two companies that for so long were associated with failure. In a statement that day, Fiat Chrysler said the CEO had undergone a shoulder operation for an unspecified ailment that would require only a "short period of convalescence".

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"The biggest challenges we face and frankly we're going to continue to face. are all focused in China", Manley said. He was also the lead Chrysler Group executive for the global activities of Chrysler outside of NAFTA, where he was responsible for implementing the co-operation agreements for distribution of Chrysler Group products through Fiat's worldwide distribution network. You took $2 billion roughly and you turned it into, I think, around $72 billion and more important than that there are many hundreds of thousands of families across many nations that are better off because of you and your team and you beat the skeptics every step of the way.

At his last public appearance as CEO, in June, Marchionne attended a ceremony in Rome at which a Jeep was presented to the Carabinieri police.

Marchionne, who was Italian and Canadian, had revived Fiat by 2009 when he was picked by the United States government to save US-based Chrysler from its trip through bankruptcy protection after being owned by a private equity company.

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Marchionne only stepped down from his role at Ferrari a few days ago due to health concerns. He built the dysfunctional companies into the world's seventh-largest automaker. Ford Motor Company shares fell almost 5 percent in after-hours trading to a new 52-week low of just above $10 a share.