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Seems as though the Agnelli family has already decided what to do with the Chairman seat now that Umberto has passed. No doubt that Morchio was upset at not getting the chairman seat in addition to his role as CEO, so he leaves on his own. But it's really ashame since Morchio was the principal architect for Fiat's recovery -- and its working. Fiat has been improving steadily and made some big strides towards recovery in the past two quarters. This is primarily due to the cost cutting efforts of Morchio and Agnelli. Hoepfully di Montezemolo can continue this while bringing some flair to the job.

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http://www.detnews.com/2004/autosinsider/0...utos-169190.htm

By Tom Rachman / Associated Press Writer

ROME -- Fiat SpA chief executive Giuseppe Morchio handed in his resignation Sunday, shortly after the auto conglomerate announced it had named Ferrari chief Luca Cordero di Montezemolo its new chairman. Morchio also had been considered a candidate for the chairman’s position.

The Italian news agency ANSA said it had received a statement from Morchio attributing his resignation to “the changed conditions coming from the decisions taken today by the company’s board of directors.”

The statement said Morchio regretted not being able to participate in the struggling automaker’s restructuring plan, which he had led and that had begun to show “its first positive results after 15 months of total dedication and intense work at the side of Umberto Agnelli,” according to ANSA.

The shakeup came three days after the death of Umberto Agnelli, the last of the company’s old guard. He died of cancer at age 69 on Thursday night, little more than a year after taking over Fiat Group from his elder brother Giovanni “Gianni” Agnelli, who passed away in January 2003.

Umberto took control at an ugly moment in Fiat’s history, and the business had begun showing improvements. In 2002, Fiat Group’s losses were 4.3 billion euros; after a year with Umberto Agnelli and Morchio, losses had dropped to 1.9 billion euros.

The Fiat board will meet Tuesday to consider what to do in the wake of Morchio’s resignation.

The Turin, Italy-based automaker also said it had chosen John Elkann, a 28-year-old heir to the Agnelli empire, as vice chairman, and added Umberto Agnelli’s son, Andrea, to the board.

The choice of close Agnelli ally Montezemolo -- whose management of Ferrari has been a beacon of success in the family’s struggling automaking empire -- as well as Elkann and Andrea Agnelli showed the clan’s interest in maintaining its tight grip over the company.

Montezemolo, 56, was recently elected head of the powerful Italian industrialists lobby group, Confindustria, and also chairs the Italian Federation of Newspaper Publishers, FIEG.

He studied law, but began working early with fast cars, as Ferrari team manager in the mid-1970s. Since then, he’s worked for the Fiat Group, Cinzano, helped organize the 1990 World Cup in Italy, and has been president of Ferrari and Maserati since the 1990s.

While the remainder of the Agnelli auto empire has suffered billions in losses, Montezemolo has helped lead Ferrari to impressive successes, both in sales and in headline-grabbing Formula One races.

Under Umberto Agnelli, Fiat sought to focus more on the automaking business -- a risky move given that cars had become the diversified company’s biggest money-loser. Fiat says recent financial improvements show that the plan is working and it has pledged the group will return to profitability in 2006.

Umberto Agnelli didn’t achieve this success alone. Morchio, whom Agnelli appointed shortly after taking over in 2003, devised the restructuring plan.

“We know the path is a long one, but the changes have been put in motion,” Morchio told a February news conference to issue full 2003 results. “Obviously, we’ll be satisfied at the end of this path.”

Before joining Fiat as its fourth chief executive in less than nine months, the 56-year-old Morchio was CEO of Pirelli SpA’s cables division, and for years worked as a senior executive at the Milan-based multinational’s tire-making unit.

The future of Fiat and the Agnelli family’s role in the company had been left unclear by Umberto’s death. Elkann, Giovanni Agnelli’s grandson, has been prepared for a future top role at Fiat, but was considered too young to take over immediately.

However, his position as vice chairman is still highly significant, particularly in a multibillion dollar conglomerate with more than 162,000 employees worldwide.

Elkann studied engineering in Turin, was sent to work anonymously on a Fiat assembly line in Poland, a Fiat dealership in France, and a Fiat-owned headlight factory in England. He also did a stint at General Electric’s audit department, and became a member of the Fiat board of directors at 22.
 

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What a big stepdown --- from Ferrari to Fiat! :lol:
 

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Originally posted by Camaroz28lover@May 31 2004, 11:03 PM
wait so that means GM owns Part of Ferrari!!

wow that is news to me
No, this is not the way the company is set up. Fiat S.p.A. owns Gruppo Ferrari-Maserati -- the Ferrari Group. Fiat S.p.A. has held 50% of Ferrari since the 1960's and purchased the rest after Enzo Ferrari died (with the exception of 10% that Piero Ferrari owns). Fiat S.p.A. also owns Fiat Auto S.p.A. (Alfa Romeo, Lancia and the Fiat Brand) in which GM HAD a 20% stake but was reduced to 10% when GM decided not to take part in an asset recapitalization of Fiat last year. So the parent company of Fiat Auto S.p.A. owns Ferrari -- it's a separate company and GM doesn't control any of it.
 
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