The Business on: Sergio Marchionne, Chief executive, Fiat and Chrysler
Tuesday 08 February 2011
Do the Italians still love the man who turned Fiat around?
It's an affair that is souring, let's put it that way. A row is raging after Mr Marchionne suggested that he might move the headquarters of Fiat, one of Italy's biggest industrial names, to the US in a long-term merger with Chrysler.
Still, presumably the Americans are pleased?
Maybe about Fiat, but unfortunately, Mr Marchionne has rather upsetpeople in the US, too. As the boss of Chrysler, he has repeatedly complained about the cost of servicing loans that the car company took from the US government in order to avoid collapse a couple of years back. But using the term "shyster rates" at the weekend was a bit too provocative and he was forced to apologise yesterday.
Is he going to get away with this double blunder?
In a word, yes. Mr Marchionne is feted in the automotive industry for the way he turned Fiat around after arriving in 2004, despite having no experience of the car business. He is also making good progress at Chrysler, which is expected to return to the US stock market this year.
What's his secret?
Partly, it's good old-fashioned hard work. Mr Marchionne is famous for sleeping only a few hours a day, often on his private jet as he travels between Europe and the US – and for carrying six Blackberrys at a time so he can keep track of his various roles. He doesn't suffer fools gladly and has fired a string of executives at Fiat and Chrysler, but supporters say the way he has ripped up the traditional hierarchical structures of the car industry has paid dividends.
And what's he like?
Unconventional. Born in Italy, he moved to Canada at the age of two and retains dual nationality (he is multilingual too). He rarely wears a suit – preferring a jumper and smart trousers – chain-smokes and loves fast cars (he wrecked his Ferrari in an accident on a Swiss motorway a few years back). He is also a patron of the arts, classical music in particular.
New essay by JK Rowling went live on Pottermore site on Friday
Top Gear presenter is no stranger to foot-in-mouth controversy
New UK station Russia Today gives a very bizarre view of Britain
- 1 Chinese authorities arrest 11 people over exhuming woman’s body to sell as corpse bride
- 2 Canadian actor punched in face after 'Islamophobia' experiment goes wrong in wake of Ottawa shooting
- 3 Woman blinded as a child can see again after hitting her head on a coffee table
- 4 Paul Hollywood: Police asked if I wanted them to arrest Mary Berry for vandalism after she 'defaced' my car
- 5 If you think Russell Brand’s new book is confused, you should read what his critics have to say about it
'Nasa Confirms Six Days of Darkness in December': No, they don't - it's a hoax
Tower of London poppies: Tens of thousands of people flock to see installation in its final days
Top Gear presenter Jeremy Clarkson criticised for beer tweet
Woman blinded as a child can see again after hitting her head on a coffee table
Bryan Adams' heartstopping images of wounded British soldiers to go on show at Somerset House
Pope Francis declares evolution and Big Bang theory are real and God is not 'a magician with a magic wand'
Huge surge in Ukip support after EU funding row, according to new poll
Ukip ‘exploiting grooming scandal’ to secure party’s first police chief
Nigel Farage: 'There’s nothing wrong with white people blacking up'
Maureen Lipman says 'she can't vote Labour while Ed Miliband is leader'
Muslims, immigration and teenage pregnancy: British people are ignorant about almost everything
iJobs Money & Business
£18000 - £23000 per annum + Comission: SThree: SThree, International Recruitme...
£20000 - £25000 per annum + OTE £35K: SThree: We consistently strive to be the...
£20000 - £23250 Per Annum pro rata: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd: Pro rata ...
£40 - 48k + Benefits: Guru Careers: We are seeking a Marketing Manager to join...