Manley, Elkann eulogize Marchionne at private memorial in Michigan

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Sergio Marchionne at the opening of Chrysler House in the center of Detroit.

A private commemoration on Thursday at the headquarters of FCA in Auburn Hills, Mich., Honored the late CEO of the automaker, Sergio Marchionne, on the same stage where he was in 2009 and spoke to Chrysler employees for the first time after turning the company out of bankruptcy had led.

The one-hour service in the multi-item atrium of the FCA Technology Center saw thousands of workers around each ring watching emotional speeches from John Elkann, chairman of Fiat Chrysler Automobiles and Mikeionley's successor, Mike Manley.

Marchionne, 66, died July 25 in Zurich, Switzerland. A public memorial was held on 14 September in Turin.

"I was lucky enough to be part of his world nine years ago." The years since have been the most intense, fascinating and exciting of my life, "said Manley, dressed in a dark suit and tie." I have publicly said that working with Sergio was a business education you could not buy, no matter how much you wanted to spend. But what I did not say publicly was that it was also a journey of personal growth for me. He gave me the space to understand who I am, and he pushed me to explore my full potential. "

FCA said that factory managers from 25 FCA production sites attended the memorial. In honor of Marchionne, the company has renamed the scholarship program, formerly the FCA Student Achievement Awards, the Sergio Marchionne Student Achievement Awards.

By March 2009 Marchionne had stood behind a desk at the same location to bring a message of hope and confidence to Chrysler employees who had survived his ill-fated property of Daimler and Cerberus, as well as the bankruptcy of 2009.

Elkann, who choked by talking about the man he looked at as a mentor and friend for more than 14 years, described Marchionne as decisive, but with a higher purpose.

"He taught us to think differently, to have the courage to change and to act, not to be afraid, he taught us that the most important question we need to ask ourselves at the end of each day is whether we can have something change for the better, "said Elkann. "And Sergio did that, wherever his work brought him, and in the lives of so many people."

Elkann also took the opportunity to fully confirm Manley and his trust and to offer the five-year business plan of Marchionne and Manley to investors in Italy on 1 June.

"Our future was presented on 1 June in Balocco and represents the collective ambitions of the men and women of FCA, which we will not only build on high standards, but as Sergio expresses it, at" sky high & # 39; standards exactly how Mike Manley thinks and acts, he has already proven it, with his incredible track record in performance Mike has the full support of the board and I am sure that, with the contribution of each of you , by If we live our culture, we will continue to achieve higher levels of performance, which really mattered to Sergio, "said Elkann.

"The pursuit of excellence, the idea that there is always a better way." He gave us a powerful example, although his humanity, his determination to never accept the status quo, never satisfied with "good enough"; and never settle for mediocrity. At the end of this commemoration of who, for me, was a true friend, and who I very much miss, I hope that we all find some comfort if we know that his example is something that we will continue to do. carry with us. "