FCA shares hit as Marchionne era ends, Altavilla quits

Govt says group and workers safe,Di Maio slam leftwing criticism

(ANSA) - Rome, July 23 - Fiat Chrysler Automobiles shares were hit by the end of the Marchionne era losing 4% on the Milan bourse after Sergio Marchionne, in critical condition in a Zurich hospital, was replaced by Jeep 'wizard' Mike Manley.
    Ferrari, now led by Louis Carey Camilleri, shed 5% while farm machinery unit CNH, now headed by Suzanne Heywood, lost 2.54%.
    Agnelli family holding company Exor was also weak, shedding 4.59%.
    New FCA CEO Manley's first task is to head the Group Executive Council (GEC) today and tomorrow, ahead of the publication of the group's quarterly results on Wednesday.
    FCA share losses were cut to 1.5% later, while Ferrari, CNH and Exor also saw their losses cut. Industry and Labour Minister Luigi Di Maio said Monday leftwing attacks on former FCA CEO Marchionne on his hospital bed were "deplorable".
    "Perhaps we didn't agree with Marchionne on almost anything but seeing a certain left which left him do what he wanted when he was powerful and attacks him now he is in a hospital bed, is really deplorable," said the leader of the anti-establishment 5-Star Movement.
    As for the future of FCA, Di Maio said "we have to be concerned but at the same time I want to reassure people that Italy is a country that will invest in cars and above all in electric cars". Alfredo Altavilla, FCA's head of operations in Europe, Middle East, and Africa, on Monday resigned from the group.
    Altavilla was one of the managers in line to succeed Marchionne.
    He reportedly decided to resign after the car group chose Manley to replace the ailing CEO.
    FCA and related shares dipped again after news of Alatavilla's resignation.
    FCA shares dropped 3.05% in early New York trading, while Ferrari shares were 5% down.
    In Milan FCA closed 1.5% down while Ferrari was 4.8% down by the end of trading.
    The related stocks were around 2-3% down.
    CNH closed 1.7% down and Exor lost 3.25%.
    New CEO Manley has taken on the post of chief operating officer for Europe, Middle East, and Africa (EMEA) after the resignation of Altavilla, FCA sources said Monday. FCA said in a statement that Altavilla was leaving "to pursue other professional interests".
    Altavilla will work with Manley until the end of August, it said, to lend his support during the transition from ex-CEO Sergio Marchionne.
    Global business development activities will be reorganised and put under Richard Palmer, Chief Financial Officer and head of Systems and Castings.
    Altavilla made his mark by negotiating a deal with General Motors soon after Marchionne took over in 2004.
    FCA and its workers have nothing to fear, Deputy Premier and Interior Minister Matteo Salvini said Monday.
    "FCA will continue to be in good hands, there will be no problem either for the workers or for the future of the firm," said the leader of the anti-migrant Euroskeptic League party.
    "The workers have nothing to fear and the firm has nothing to fear," he said.
    "No one would have wanted such a traumatic and dramatic succession," he added, condemning "bourse speculation on illnesses". Sources in Detroit thanked "great Sergio" and voiced confidence in Manley.
    Dealers and trade unions said he would be a good leader. FCA President John Elkann said "Marchionne will not be back.
    We will be eternally grateful to him".
    Marchionne strung together a series of successes during his 14-year reign, not least the coup in persuading Barack Obama to back the seemingly improbable merger with ailing US carmaker Chrysler at the height of the 2007-08 financial crisis.
    Marchionne went into a Zurich hospital last week for a seemingly routine shoulder operation.
    His condition, due to post-op complications, is now said to be "irreversible".
   

ALL RIGHTS RESERVED © Copyright ANSA