Sergio Marchionne, the most interesting chief executive in the auto industry, plans to retire in 2018 as head of Fiat Chrysler.
Marchionne, who oversaw Fiat’s merger with Chrysler and serves also as its CEO, is the longest-serving chief executive of any Europe-based automaker.
Since taking charge of Fiat in June 2004, the blunt, plain-spoken Marchionne has tripled the Italian automaker’s revenue and operating profit, according to Bloomberg Businessweek.
With the merger that created Fiat Chrysler Automobiles, his goal now is to boost net income five-fold to about $6.3 billion in 2018.
“I’m not going to do any more turnarounds,” the workaholic Marchionne told Bloomberg. “Let some of the young punks do it.”
Marchionne, who lives in Switzerland but constantly shuttles among Turin, Detroit and elsewhere, said he wants to devote time to other interests such as theoretical physics.
“You’re asking me if there are other things I like to do apart from this?” he said in the interview. “Phenomenally, yes. I like to be able to think, and that’s not always possible in this job.”
When Marchionne presented Fiat Chrysler’s new business plan in May, he said he would remain as CEO through at least 2018 – two more years than he had previously indicated, according to Automotive News.