Fiat Chrysler CEO Sergio Marchionne could miss the company’s second-quarter earnings call next week, July 25th, as he reportedly recovers from a surgical procedure. News of the executive’s surgery was broken by Italian business website Lettera 43, who said that Marchionne underwent surgery on his right shoulder earlier this month. An FCA spokesperson reportedly told the outlet that the CEO is “in recovery phase,” and that “a short period of [convalescence] is expected.”
According to Automotive News, FCA confirmed to some other Italian publications that Marchionne is recovering after undergoing surgery earlier this month, but FCA US declined to comment. Publicly-traded companies in the US aren’t required by law to disclose whether top executives have serious health concerns.
Sergio Marchionne, now 66, is in his final year as Chief Executive Officer of Fiat Chrysler Automobiles. At the company’s Capital Markets Day presentation last month, the CEO announced that FCA had managed to eliminate most of its industrial debt, and was on-track to wipe out the last quantity by the end of June. Returning the company to debt-free status was one of Marchionne’s biggest goals as CEO – an issue of such great importance that Marchionne broke with years of tradition at this year’s Capital Markets Day, wearing a necktie to signify the debt’s elimination.
Sergio Marchionne’s successor has yet to be named, although the CEO has indicated that the person to replace him will come from FCA’s own ranks. A recent statement from FCA read in part: “As the Company has stated on more than one occasion, such appointment will take place at the appropriate time and the successor, to be promoted from within, will be chosen based on a rigorous decision-making process initiated some time ago.”