Ailing Marchionne Replaced as Ferrari CEO by Former Tobacco Executive

Incoming Ferrari CEO Louis Camilleri was once the chief executive of Philip Morris International.

Ferrari Chairman Sergio Marchionne Rings NYSE Opening Bell
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Shortly after it was announced that FCA CEO Sergio Marchionne would not be able to return to work due to health complications, Ferrari moved forward with appointing Louis C. Camilleri as the new CEO and John Elkann as chairman. The announcement was made after an emergency meeting in Turin, Italy was called on Saturday afternoon.

According to a statement released by Ferrari, "the board has given Camilleri the necessary powers to ensure continuity of the company's operation." However, the official vesting of his role won't happen until shareholders approve of it during a meeting that will take place "in the coming days."

PMI

Louis C. Camilleri

"The Board of Directors of Ferrari learned with deep sadness during its meeting today that Chairman and CEO Sergio Marchionne will be unable to return to work," read the official statement. "The Board's thoughts are with Sergio Marchionne and his family and it is grateful for the extraordinary contribution he has made in recent years at the helm of Ferrari."

Marchionne underwent shoulder surgery in Switzerland a few weeks ago, but it's still unclear exactly what health complications have recently come up that will keep him from returning to work. Meanwhile, FCA as a whole has appointed Englishman Mike Manley, the former head of Jeep and Ram, with the title of CEO.

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Piero Ferrari (left) with Sergio Marchionne (right).

Camilleri has held several high profile jobs at the helm of tobacco giant Philip Morris International, which is one of the Scuderia Ferrari's biggest sponsors, and certainly its most lucrative. Despite spending most of his professional life with Philip Morris, Camilleri also Kraft Foods International in the '90s and has served on the board of Ferrari and other large telecom companies since 2015. His involvement with the Scuderia has also earned him several strong connections in racing, as Camilleri happens to be a founding member of FIA President Jean Todt's charity.

The Drive reached out to FCA for more clarification, but was referred to the press release and told that everything is still developing.