Ferrari CEO search may take months, cover non-car candidates

Daniele Lepido
Bloomberg

Ferrari NV may take months rather than weeks to name a new boss after Chief Executive Officer Louis Camilleri abruptly left the Italian supercar maker, according to people familiar with the matter.

The company is taking a thorough and deliberate approach to resolve its second leadership crisis in as many years, the people said. Ferrari’s board will meet Tuesday for a preliminary review of candidates for the role, they said, asking not to be named as the company’s plans aren’t public.

Fiat Chrysler Automobiles CEO Mike Manley

Fiat Chrysler Automobiles NV Chief Executive Officer Mike Manley, who media reports have linked to the job, isn’t currently in the running, the people said. Manley has previously said he’ll stay at the Italian-American carmaker even after its planned merger with France’s PSA Group.

A spokesman for Ferrari declined to comment.

Chairman John Elkann is taking over the CEO role on an interim basis until a replacement for Camilleri is found. His departure comes at a difficult time. The coronavirus pandemic has depressed auto sales just as the industry is shifting away from the internal combustion engine – a key feature of the high-powered Ferrari cars.

The executive search could extend beyond the car industry, following Camilleri’s attempts to transform Ferrari into a fully-fledged luxury brand. The company introduced five new models in 2019, which helped increase annual sales to more than 10,000 units for the first time.

The board already includes executives close to both the luxury and technology industries, including Louis Vuitton Executive Vice President Delphine Arnault and Apple Inc. Senior Vice President of Internet Software and Services Eddy Cue.