Marchionne's Transformative Fiat Chrysler Tenure: Timeline

(Bloomberg) -- Over 14 years at the helm of what’s now Fiat Chrysler Automobiles NV, Chief Executive Officer Sergio Marchionne transformed a middling European carmaker into a global giant.

Marchionne's Transformative Fiat Chrysler Tenure: Timeline

As the company prepares to pass the CEO job to Jeep executive Mike Manley, here is a timeline of some key moments during Marchionne’s tenure.

June 2004

  • Marchionne, then serving as CEO of goods inspector SGS SA, is appointed CEO of Fiat. He pledged to complete a turnaround plan initiated by his predecessor to end years of losses, and soon announced plans to revamp Fiat’s organization to make it more efficient.

February 2005

  • Marchionne extracts $2 billion from General Motors to end a dispute over the ownership of their Fiat Auto joint venture, and announces plans to terminate other alliances with the U.S. carmaker.

June 2009

  • Fiat takes ownership of Chrysler assets, pledging to reopen factories idled during its bankruptcy. Marchionne commits no cash, instead pledging to share engineering resources and technology with the struggling U.S. company.

January 2011

  • Fiat spins off its industrial assets as a precursor to creating a global automotive company, combining its own operations with Chrysler’s.

October 2014

  • The merged Fiat Chrysler Automobiles NV makes its debut on the New York Stock Exchange. Shortly afterward, the company announces a spinoff of luxury brand Ferrari.

October 2015

  • Ferrari NV, with Marchionne as chairman, begins trading in New York with a market value of about $10 billion. That success came after GM rebuffed attempts by Marchionne to instigate a merger that would create the world’s largest automaker.

April 2017

  • Marchionne puts major merger attempts on hold to focus on cutting debt at Fiat Chrysler.

June 2018

  • Marchionne unveils a five-year plan for Fiat Chrysler, aimed at doubling profit and restoring dividends for the first time since the 2014 merger. The company also plans to invest 9 billion euros ($11 billion) in electrifying its fleet through 2022. 

July 2018

  • With his health faltering, the 66-year-old is replaced with Manley, who led a successful global expansion of the Jeep brand. Marchionne’s worsening condition accelerated the succession.

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