John Elkann, fifth-generation family member of the founding Fiat family, has been elected as chairman of the Fiat Group. The 34-year-old told reporters that today was "a very important day for Fiat and me."
The formal announcement came this morning during Fiat's investor day, although non-family CEO Sergio Marchionne told a press conference yesterday of the schion's promotion.
Elkann's appointment follows the resignation of Luca Cordero di Montezemolo as chairman, who said at the press conference: "My role as helmsman is over." In the official statement announcing his resignation, Montezemolo stated that he had completed the assignment given to him by the core shareholder, the Agnelli family, in 2004.
Elkann (pictured) is already chairman of the investment arm of the Italy-based Agnelli family's empire, Exor. It is through this holding company that the family controls Fiat and owns 60% of the Italian football club Juventus among other interests.
Elkann was chosen by his grandfather, the former Fiat chairman Gianni Agnelli, to lead the family business after the untimely death of Elkann's cousin, Giovanni Agnelli, from cancer at just 33.
Fiat has been under the control of the Agnelli's since it was founded in 1899 and had 2009 revenues of €50.1 billion.
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