Famous for his signature black jumpers, sharp tongue and workaholic lifestyle, he is credited with saving both Fiat and Chrysler from bankruptcy.
CFO Richard Palmer, who was also on the call, said Marchionne was unique, and that he was grateful to have worked alongside him for the last 12 years.
The company's new CEO Mike Manley has built his reputation leading the Jeep brand, which, along with Ram, are the two most successful divisions of Fiat Chrysler.
Shareholders or Privacy? The turn of events with Marchionne serves as a reminder that, when a top corporate leader is concerned, health isn't always a private matter.
Driving Success, a profile of Sergio Marchionne in Statements Magazine, 2010 by Colin Ellis. Altavilla, who joined Fiat in 1990, had been a rival for the top job along with Manley and CFO Richard Palmer. He became CEO in June 2004, following the death of Gianni Agnelli's brother, Umberto, Fiat's chairman, leaving a family void in the company. He brought in other outsiders to key positions and relaunched the iconic 500, which became one of the new Fiat's calling cards as it expanded overseas. Colleagues and analysts were amazed by the pace he kept, working seven days a week all year long and shuttling constantly between Fiat Chrysler's hubs in Turin, Italy; Auburn Hills, Michigan; and London, as well as a home in Zurich. "So it's not going to happen until we close '18".
A auto fanatic and especially passionate about the luxury vehicle brand Ferrari, Marchionne divided his time between his three homes in Turin, Switzerland and Detroit. He let his real satisfaction show in June's presentation when he announced the company had reached zero debt, by donning a tie for the first time in a decade - albeit briefly.
Ferrari began trading in NY in 2015. Hiding something of that magnitude for over a year, particularly for someone what was seen in public and attended hundreds of company and board meetings, does not make any sense.
Marchionne was divorced. He is survived by his companion, Manuela Battezzato, and two adult sons, Alessio and Tyler.