Ferrari NV faces its second leadership crisis in just over two years following the abrupt resignation of its chief executive, Louis Camilleri, complicating the Italian supercar maker’s transition to electric mobility.
President John Elkann will take over as CEO on an interim basis. He will have to find a new manager just 30 months after choosing Camilleri to succeed Sergio Marchionne, who died in July 2018 of complications after surgery.
Camilleri, 65, leaves after being temporarily hospitalized for covid-19. He is now recovering at home and the infection is not the main reason for his resignation, a company spokesman said, without elaborating. Camilleri also resigned as president of Philip Morris International Inc.
The unexpected resignation comes at a difficult time. The coronavirus pandemic has reduced car sales just as the industry is moving away from the internal combustion engine, a key feature of high-powered Ferrari cars.
Camilleri’s departure is expected to deal a blow to the price of Ferrari, which has gained about 20% this year, to top-performer the Stoxx 600 index of cars and parts, said Angus Tweedie, an analyst at Citigroup.
The person taking over as CEO faces a high bar, Tweedie said in a comment to clients Friday. Ferrari faces questions about whether the company can meet its profitability targets for 2022, introducing new models including the PuroSangue SUV and shifting the supercar maker toward an emission-free fleet.
Ferrari was down 1% at 9:10 a.m. in Milan, valuing the company at about 34 billion euros ($ 41 billion).
Camilleri was a member of Ferrari’s board when he took office to replace Marchionne, who died within days of being replaced. Marchionne orchestrated the 2016 Ferrari spin-off from Fiat Chrysler Automobiles NV, where he also served as chief executive officer.
In two and a half years as CEO, Camilleri oversaw Ferrari’s transformation to a full-fledged luxury brand. He renewed the Ferrari range to be able to continue increasing prices. The company introduced five new models in 2019, helping to increase annual sales to more than 10,000 units for the first time.
“As a long-time member of the Ferrari board, Louis displayed an unwavering sense of responsibility that ensured the continuity of our organization, while guiding Ferrari forward with an ambitious and forward-thinking strategic plan,” Elkann said in a letter. to the employees.