"With reference to the health of Sergio Marchionne, Fiat Chrysler Automobiles N.V. 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", a FCA statement read.
The man rumoured to be the new boss of Ferrari is Louis Camilleri, the former CEO of Philip Morris International who is now the chairman of the cigarette company which owns Marlboro and is Ferrari's primary sponsor, although the branding no longer appears on the cars.
Marchionne, a dual Italian-Canadian citizen with an MBA from the University of Windsor and a career mostly in Europe, was picked to lead Fiat in 2004. The energetic leader, who has become known for his straight talk on the industry, later organized a merger of Fiat and Chrysler to create FCA and, since 2014, the company has wiped out US$12.5 billion in debt.
"I am profoundly saddened to learn of Sergio's state of health", he said.
The news was confirmed on Saturday evening, with Ferrari naming John Elkann as the company's new chairman.
FCA didn't give details about Marchionne's medical condition, which was reported to be surgery for a shoulder problem three weeks ago. His roles have included head of sales in Asia, head of Ram brand, and chief operating officer for North America. Since taking over, he has overseen the growth of Jeep in the U.S. and is responsible for the brand's big push into the European market. "His worldwide experience in growing that brand will play a key role as he applies those techniques to all of the Fiat Chrysler divisions".
CNH Industrial said its interim CEO, Derek Neilson, will continue on pending the selection of a permanent replacement for Marchionne. He unveiled FCA's plans through 2022.
The brand also grew internationally, especially in China, under Manley.
Brands that have been driving the company's revenues include Jeep SUVs, Ram trucks and the premium brands, Maserati and Alfa Romeo.