FCA CEO Marchionne mulls retirement after 2018 image

Sergio Marchionne, the architect behind Fiat SpA’s progress since 2004 and the mastermind of the Chrysler purchase and subsequent merger seems intent on finishing his run with the automaker in 2018.

That’s the deadline for the utterly ambitious five-year strategy unveiled back in May that sees the combined carmakers in a strategic plan of massive expansion – both in terms of sales and earnings.

“I am not going to do any more turnarounds. I’m done; let some of the young punks do it. There are a number of things that the next CEO will do which are totally different from what I do,” he said in an interview with Bloomberg Businessweek. “The role as presently configured will have to be reconfigured. “You’re asking me if there are other things I like to do apart from this?” added Marchionne. “Phenomenally, yes. I like to be able to think, and that’s not always possible in this job.”

“I’m comfortable with the bench we have,” says shairman John Elkann, 38, who adds he’s not a candidate. “The most important thing is clarity and we have strong candidates,” but he refused to give names.

Marchionne, now 62, has been the longest surviving CEO of any European automaker. He took over Fiat in 2004 and steered it clear of bankruptcy, reaching a position strong enough to buy the third largest US automaker – Chrysler Group LLC. Now, he wants to take London-based Fiat Chrysler Automobiles NV to a fivefold increase in profit to 5 billion euros ($6.3 billion) in 2018.

Via Automotive News Europe