It’s difficult enough serving as CEO, especially when you’re overseeing a company desperately struggling to re-emerge from bankruptcy. But Sergio Marchionne is not only running Chrysler but also serving as chief executive of its Italian partner, Fiat. How long that arrangement will continue is unclear, but the Canadian-educated executive says it won’t be indefinitely.
Speaking at the Peterson Institute for International Economics, in Washington, Marchionne said he plans to relinquish one of his posts within the next 24 months.
The executive offered a mix of optimistic and pragmatic observations about Chrysler and the industry as a whole, during his speech and subsequent question-and-answer session, often while making one point. “We walked out of this process (bankruptcy) cleaner “ than before, Marchionne asserted, “like going through a washing machine, but we ended up with the same stuff we had.”
Not surprisingly, Marchionne cautioned that “We are not promising miracles at Chrysler,” even though many observers felt the company over-promised during an all-day briefing, on November 4th outlining the automaker’s turnaround plan. It called for Chrysler to regain much of the market share it has lost, in recent years, and post billions of dollars in profits over the next five years.