When you are the boss of Fiat Chrysler, which also owns Ferrari, then you can do what ever you want. It turns out that Sergio Marchionne is considering taking up the soon to be vacant CEO position when the current Ferrari CEO, Amedeo Felisa, retires in a few months time.
Marchinonne is already the de facto Chairman of Ferrari but may well have a limited time at the helm as CEO. He is currently planning to sell 10 percent of the prancing horse in 2016. Felisa, 68, was appointed Ferrari CEO in 2008 and may well keep a job on the board.
Fiat will offer an initial public offering sometime in October in a bid to raise cash and will sell the remaining stake to shareholders at the beginning of next year. Marchionne has placed an $11 billion dollar value on Ferrari.
Marchionne’s vision is to turn Ferrari into a luxury goods company with a similar footprint to Hermes or Prada. Luca Di Montezemolo, Ferrari’s former Chairman, clashed with Marchionne presumably regarding this aspect of future product strategy.
Felisa was appointed by Di Montezemolo with whom he had a close working relationship. With the departure of Felisa it would mean an end to a line of thinking that echoes the company’s founding vision.
Enzo Ferrari always said that Ferrari raced cars first and built road cars second. This guiding principle was re-energised when Di Montezemolo took charge of Ferrari for over 20 years and in doing so turned the company’s fortunes around to what it is today.
Marchionne has different ideas that reflect a different era and this will be Ferrari’s new direction.