Blog: Dave LeggettDemel finally gone

Dave Leggett | 18 February 2005

It's all happening in Turin right now. Yesterday we had the announcement of the separation of Ferrari and Maserati, something which brings that long awaited Ferrari IPO a little closer. And last night, we had the announcement that Herbert Demel had been unceremoniously sacked from his job as CEO of Fiat Auto. Some of you may recall that it was not so long ago (late November last year) that Demel's departure was being rumoured in the Italian press and it was being strongly denied by Fiat. 

The talk was that Demel would be making way for ex-Ford's Martin Leach - who would move over from Maserati.

But from what I hear this morning, Martin Leach's stock within Fiat Group has not performed too well lately. Certainly looks like Marchionne is saying very strongly, 'I'm in charge!'.

Big picture: the GM windfall on the unenforceable put option was nice work, but merely buys time for beleagured Fiat Auto. Fiat Auto faces massive hurdles ahead and needs to convince its backers (banks, for now) that it has a serious and credible plan for survival. No time like now to roll the sleeves up and make (another) start by sacking the apparently uninspiring  - and presumably not hugely popular - CEO. It might just enable Fiat to get through its results later this month without being savaged. 

BREAKING NEWS: Demel departs Fiat Auto, group CEO Marchionne takes over


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