Ferarri announced a shake-up in its senior management structure Monday, saying three of the company’s top executives — Nicola Boari, Chief Brand Diversification Officer, Michael Leiters, Chief Technology Officer, and Vincenzo Regazzoni, Chief Manufacturing Officer — will be leaving the company Jan. 10, 2022.
The company didn’t elaborate on the reason — or reasons — for the changes, other than to say the moves “will further foster innovation, optimize processes and increase collaboration both internally and with partners.”
No replacements were named for the now-open spots, but the company said it will promote from within as well as seek to bring in new blood next month.
Moves come as a surprise
“My heartfelt thanks go to Michael, Nicola and Vincenzo for their valuable contributions over the years to the leadership and growth of Ferrari,” said Ferrari CEO Benedetto Vigna in a statement. “Thanks also to their efforts we are ready to seize the many, new opportunities in front of us.”
Leiters joined Ferrari in 2014, and was involved with developing the 2019 SF90 Stradale and 2021 296 GTB, as well as the brand’s upcoming hybrid models, while Boari pushed Ferrari into its first in-house fashion collection in June.
It’s unclear if Vigna, who is a relative newcomer to not just the company of the automotive industry, played any role in the changes.
“It doesn’t make sense to clean house at such a high level just because a new CEO came in,” said Sam Fiorani, vice president of Global Vehicle Forecasting at AutoForecast Solutions LLC. “It’s a possibility that there was a conflict between what they wanted to do and what the new CEO wanted to do.”
Vigna is a fresh face at Ferrari
Vigna joined Ferrari as CEO in September, after a career in the semiconductor industry, reflecting the increasing importance of digital technology in automaking. He moved to Ferrari from chipmaker STMicrolectronics, replacing Ferrari’s Chairman John Elkann, who served as acting CEO after Louis Camilleri’s sudden departure.
Camilleri retired unexpectedly after being hospitalized for COVID-19 in December 2020. Despite being 65, he wasn’t expected to leave the job anytime soon. Initial reports from Italy pointed to the illness for his decision to leave, but a Reuters report at the time stated Camilleri left for personal reasons.
In addition, he also resigned as the non-employee chairman of Philip Morris International, where he had previously served as chairman and CEO. Camilleri came to Ferrari in July 2018 following the unexpected death of Sergio Marchionne, the automaker’s previous chief executive.
Ferrari’s evolving model line-up amidst strong sales
The turnover at the top of Ferrari comes at a time of sweeping change in the automotive industry, as well as at Ferrari. The Maranello-based automaker is readying its first sport-utility vehicle, the Purosangue — or “thoroughbred” — as well as its first plug-in hybrid, the SF90 Stradale.
Markets didn’t react kindly to the news. As of late morning, Ferrari NV’s share price declined 1.74% to $248.54. Company shares hit a year-to-date high in November, closing at $275.40. Share prices rose on news of Ferrari’s third quarter results, which showed shipments rose 18.9% compared to the same period last year. Revenue also rose 18.6% versus prior year to 1.05 billion Euros, with an EBITDA margin of 35.2 percent.
Ferrari’s future electrification plans may be driving sales, as consumers seek to obtain the final pure ICE models.