Luca Cordero din Montezemolo will probably step down by the end of 2014 from his position as Ferrari chairman. That’s due to clashes over strategy with Sergio Marchionne, CEO of parent group Fiat, sources close to the matter said on Monday.
Montezemolo, chairman of Ferrari since 1991, wants to keep Ferrari autonomous, limiting sales to around 7,000 cars per year in order to preserve the exclusivity of the luxury carmaker. On the other hand, Marchionne – CEO of Fiat, which owns 90% of Ferrari – has been planning to better integrate the sportscar brand into the Fiat group in order to reach the larger premium end of the car market to rival brands such as Volkswagen and BMW.
One of the sources said, “In my opinion the differences between Marchionne and Montezemolo cannot be reconciled. His exit could happen by the end of this year.”
On Sunday Marchionne said Montezemolo’s departure as Ferrari’s chairman was “not on the agenda”, but added, “no one is indispensable”. His comments came a day after Montezemolo himself dismissed the rumours about his departure, saying he had no immediate plans to step down. Montezemolo, 67, was re-appointed chairman in March and has since said on a number of occasions that he is ready to fill that position for three more years.
By Gabriela Florea