Connect with us

Hi, what are you looking for?

Capital Business
Capital Business
Ferrari head Luca Cordero di Montezemolo pushed out after 23 years/AFP


Ferrari head Montezemolo pushed out after 23 years

Ferrari head Luca Cordero di Montezemolo pushed out after 23 years/AFP

Ferrari head Luca Cordero di Montezemolo pushed out after 23 years/AFP

ROME, September 10- Ferrari, a byword for flashy sports cars, hit rough ground Wednesday with the shock announcement that its president of 23 years, Luca Cordero di Montezemolo, has been pushed out after a boardroom split.

Just days after saying he wanted to stay, Montezemolo — who has been dogged by six years of Formula One racing failure — announced he will be stepping down on October 13.

The top job at the Italian Ferrari luxury sports car company will be taken over by the head of parent group Fiat, Sergio Marchionne.

A press conference held by Montezemolo and Marchionne was announced for Wednesday afternoon.

Ferrari is the biggest and most glamourous name in Formula One racing, competing on the Grand Prix circuit with huge success since it started in 1950, and the team’s logo of a black stallion against a red background is instantly recognised by motorsport fans around the world.

But the brand’s poor performance over the past six years, combined with recent clashes in strategy between Montezemolo and Fiat, had led racing watchers to tip his likely exit.

The decision not to appoint Montezemolo to the new board of the merged Fiat Chrysler Automobiles also suggested the Italian businessman was on the way out.

“Our desire to see Ferrari express its full potential on the track led to certain mutual misunderstandings that were voiced publicly this weekend,” Marchionne said in a statement Wednesday.

“I want to personally thank Luca for everything he has done for Fiat, for Ferrari, and for myself,” he said.

Ferrari is a subsidiary of the Fiat Group which Montezemolo, aged 67, chaired from 2004 until 2010.

Advertisement. Scroll to continue reading.

His 23 years at the wheel of Ferrari saw the team’s drivers win the Formula One title six times, but the last title came in 2007 and the team has struggled since then to compete on the track with the likes of Red Bull and Mercedes.

– ‘No-one is indispensable’ –

On Saturday, Montezemolo had publicly stated he wanted to spend another three years in the job.

Marchionne was also quoted at the weekend saying no changes in Ferrari’s management were planned while adding, “No one is indispensable”.

“Montezemolo’s business record is very good but in the case of Ferrari, a leader must also be judged on sporting results,” he had said.

Concerns over Ferrari’s future under the Italian aristocrat were also raised in June after he said he may pull his team out of Formula One because it “isn’t working”, and suggested the firm may switch to sports-car competition.

Scuderia Ferrari has longstanding disputes with Formula One governing body the Federation International d’Automobile (FIA), and Montezemolo expressed frustration with recent changes in F1 rules, saying new environmentally friendly policies were taking the excitement out of the sport.

His suggestion that the most iconic brand in motorsport could leave Formula One sent shockwaves through the sport.

He was also said to have clashed with Marchionne over sales strategies.

Advertisement. Scroll to continue reading.

While Montezemolo reportedly hoped to keep the red and black brand exclusive by limiting sales to some 7,000 cars a year, Marchionne has been pushing for Ferrari to help Fiat Chrysler move into the premium end of the car market.

On Monday Montezemolo was quoted by Italy’s best-selling daily Il Corriere della Sera telling aides that “Ferrari is now American”, which meant “the end of an era.”

At midday trading, Fiat shares were up 2.08 percent to 7.85 euros on the Milan stock market.

Fiat said Montezemolo would leave the job at his own request at the end of celebrations marking the 60th anniversary of the company’s presence in the United States.

“An era is ending, and I have decided to leave the presidency after 23 marvelous and unforgettable years,” Montezemolo said in a separate statement.

Click to comment

More on Capital Business

Executive Lifestyle

NAIROBI, Kenya, Mar 12 – The country’s super wealthy individuals are increasing their holding of bonds, gold and cash, a new report by Knight...

Ask Kirubi

NAIROBI, Kenya, Mar 9 – Businessman and industrialist Dr. Chris Kirubi has urged members of the public to exercise extreme caution when making any...

Ask Kirubi

NAIROBI, Kenya, Mar 24 – Businessman and industrialist Dr. Chris Kirubi is set to own half of Centum Investment Company PLC, following a go-ahead...

Ask Kirubi

It is without a doubt that the COVID-19 pandemic has caught the whole world by surprise. Although its full impact is yet to be...


NAIROBI, Kenya, Mar 18 – Commercial Banks have been ordered to provide relief to borrowers on their personal loans, with loans eligible from March...


NAIROBI, Kenya, Jun17 – Kenya’s tea leaves manufacturer Kericho Gold, has been awarded the Superbrands Seal by Superbrands East Africa for their quality variety...


NAIROBI, Kenya, Apr 13 – As the local telecommunications industry gears up to roll out 5G networks in the country, the Communications Authority of...


NAIROBI, Kenya, Mar 22 – Airtel Kenya is offering free internet access for students in order to enable continued learning at home in the...