Renault CEO Luca de Meo has a complete new regard for his previous manager, Sergio Marchionne.
And, he laments in no way obtaining the prospect to reconcile with the former Fiat Chrysler Vehicles main prior to his sudden passing in 2018.
De Meo shared this when requested about his relationship with Marchionne last week at a convention hosted by Automotive Information Europe sister publication Automobilwoche.
De Meo said that he remaining Fiat, exactly where he was just one of Marchionne’s proteges, for Volkswagen Group in 2009 for the reason that he was absolutely centered on item at that stage in his career. He did not sense Fiat experienced the identical degree of motivation.
“At the time, Volkswagen was exceptionally focused on the merchandise and makes. That healthy. I am a car guy. I felt that Fiat was not going in that course. It was extra about combining and synergies — and then you had the offer with Chrysler.”
In 2009, Fiat took handle of Chrysler right after the U.S. automaker’s quick journey through personal bankruptcy.
As Marchionne was having FCA on keep track of, de Meo was increasing up the ranks at VW, shifting from internet marketing director at the team to Audi’s administration board as profits boss to head of Spanish brand name Seat within just six yrs.
When he began at Renault Group in July 2020, de Meo inherited a enterprise that missing approximately 8 billion euros in the to start with 6 months of that yr. It was at that moment his appreciation of Marchionne’s management techniques grew exponentially.
“I basically didn’t seriously recognize what he was seeking to do [via the merger]. But now that I am sitting in kind of a comparable job, I realize what a guy at a shown organization needs to do.”
What was at the time a position of rivalry in between the two leaders — the value of solution — has morphed into admiration.
“When he entered Fiat, the firm was worth nothing. Fiat and all the excellent brand names within it have been value almost nothing. He multiplied the value of the complete team. He did so not essentially doing a ton of products and solutions. In that respect, he was a genius. So, at times when it will come to comprehending how to composition a enterprise to give it worth, I normally assume about him.”
Unfortunately, de Meo never ever bought to share these compliments with Marchionne, who was a legendary holder of grudges.
“We had a partnership that was like a father and son. So, when I left Fiat, he was pretty, incredibly angry. He did not want to talk to me any more,” de Meo said. “So, just one of the regrets of my daily life is that I never ever had the opportunity, possibly 10 decades later on, to sit with him and have a espresso and talk about the excellent occasions.”