Sergio Marchionne's health worsening as he remains in ICU

Fiat Chrysler names new CEO to replace ailing Marchionne

Marchionne is passionate about the Ferrari racing team, and even after his planned retirement from Fiat Chrysler he had said he wanted to stay at the helm of the sports auto company with the iconic horse symbol for a few more years. A statement from Ferrari added that he would not be able to return to work.

The carmaker said British-born Manley, who also takes responsibility for the North America region, will push ahead with the midterm strategy outlined last month by Marchionne, who had been due to step down next April.

Michelle Kreps, an analyst at Autotrader, called Manley "a logical, solid choice to replace Marchionne" given that the company's future is dependent on the success of Jeep and its other global brands.

The board of trucks and tractor CNH Industrial, another company controlled by the Agnellis and where Marchionne is chairman, is also expected to meet Saturday to name a replacement for the Italo-Canadian executive, Bloomberg said. "The Board has also given Louis C. Camilleri the necessary powers to ensure continuity of the company's operation". Derek Neilson will continue, in his role as the company's Interim CEO. Camilleri previously held the title of Philip Morris International chairman, a company with a strong and lengthy link with Ferrari, and is a member of the Ferrari board.

A separate Ferrari statement read: "The board of Ferrari met today has learned with great sadness that its CEO Sergio Marchionne could not resume work".

Sergio Marchionne will leave Fiat Chrysler Automobiles earlier than planned due to health concerns, according to FCA.

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FCA's chairman John Elkann, controlling shareholder of Ferrari and the grandson of legendary Fiat founder Gianni Agnelli, will become Ferrari's chairman.

In the absence of a partner, Manley needs to show FCA can keep churning out profits on its own, even as emissions rules tighten, SUV competition intensifies and worries over potential USA emissions fines abound.

Analysts said that choosing the 54-year-old Manley, under whose watch Jeep's sales surged fourfold, sent a clear message that FCA was staying on course and would keep the Jeep brand at the heart of its growth plan.

"I am profoundly saddened to learn of Sergio's state of health", he said.

The progress of Jeep had led Marchionne to place it at the centre of the group's strategic plans last month, when he announced that he wanted the brand to account for one in every 12 utility vehicles sold by the industry.

Marchionne resurrected one of Italy's biggest corporate names and revitalized Chrysler, succeeding where the US company's two previous owners - Mercedes parent Daimler and private equity group Carberus - both failed.

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