Ex-Fiat Chrysler boss Sergio Marchionne dies, aged 66

Former chief executive officer of Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA), Sergio Marchionne, has died.

FCA Chairman John Elkann: The Agnelli family scion and Marchionne's boss praised his mentor's "values of humanity, responsibility and open-mindedness", adding, "My family and I will always be grateful for what he has done".

Marchionne has done what many thought impossible, most notably his huge gamble just over a decade ago when he set in motion the marriage between the then-ailing Fiat with bankrupt USA rival Chrysler.

In his role as CEO at Alusuisse, much like he was later to do with Ferrari and Fiat Chrysler, he spun off the drug business to create Lonza Group AG.

On Saturday, Fiat Chrysler named Jeep division head Mike Manley as CEO at the world's seventh-largest auto maker, saying the Briton would execute a new mid-term strategy that Marchionne had outlined in June.

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, Marchionne attended high school and college in Canada, where his family emigrated when he was 14.

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In the past four years alone, Fiat Chrysler's stock price almost quadrupled under Marchionne. "Our thoughts are also with our industry colleagues at Fiat Chrysler as they deal with this sudden loss".

FCA appointed Jeep head Mike Manley as Marchionne's successor, before the company's European head stepped down after being passed over for the promotion.

Having joined Fiat in 2004, he was instrumental in Ferrari's return to championship contenders.

Jetting between the company's offices and design studios in Europe and the United States, Marchionne dominated Fiat Chrysler, eclipsing the executives under him.

"With Sergio Marchionne Italy loses not only the most brilliant of its managers, but one of the symbolic figures of our country". At the time, the company had been on the brink of bankruptcy. Complications came into place, which forced FCA to replace to man who led the Group for the last couple of years.

To his partner, Manuela, his wife Orlandina, and children, Alessio and Jonathan, Pitpass, on behalf of its readers offers its honest condolences.

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