Maltese-Egyptian named Ferrari CEO

Maltese-Egyptian named Ferrari CEO

Louis Camilleri will lead luxury car maker, replacing Sergio Marchionne

Mr Camilleri. Photo: Philip Morris

Mr Camilleri. Photo: Philip Morris

Updated 7.14pm

Luxury sports carmaker Ferrari said on Saturday it had appointed board member Louis Camilleri as its new chief executive, replacing Sergio Marchionne who is seriously ill.

In an emergency meeting called after Marchionne's health worsened, the Ferrari board also named John Elkann as chairman and gave Camilleri powers to oversee the company's operations.

Marchionne was both CEO and chairman of Ferrari. He has also been replaced as Fiat Chrysler CEO.

A Ferrari shareholder meeting will be called in the coming days to approve his appointment.

Marchionne was due to step down as head of Fiat Chrysler in spring next year, but planned to stay on as Ferrari chairman and CEO until 2021.

Mr Camilleri, who has an estimated net worth of more than €150 million, was born in 1955 in Egypt to Maltese parents and studied in the UK and Switzerland before joining tobacco giant Philip Morris. 

He made headlines in 2017 when he started dating supermodel Naomi Campbell.

Prime Minister Joseph Muscat was among the first to congratulate Mr Camilleri, writing on Twitter that he felt "proud to have a bit of Malta in Ferrari." 

Fiat Chrysler role 

Marchionne's position as Fiat Chrysler CEO has been taken over by Mike Manley, the head of the firm's Jeep division, the company said in a statement.

"FCA communicates with profound sorrow that during the course of this week unexpected complications arose while Mr Marchionne was recovering from surgery and that these have worsened significantly in recent hours," the statement said.

READ: Sergio Marchionne, the CEO who liked to fix things

Marchionne is widely credited with rescuing Fiat and Chrysler from bankruptcy since he took the wheel of the Italian carmaker in 2004.

The 66-year-old recently underwent shoulder surgery and has been in recovery, but his health has since deteriorated. 

"It is a situation that was unthinkable until a few hours ago, and one that leaves us all with a real sense of injustice," Chairman John Elkann said.

Marchionne, who has been described as a workaholic by people working with him, suggested last year that his duties could be shared by several executives, saying: "My job is not easy."

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