Sergio Marchionne stepping down at Ferrari

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According to Italian news reports, Fiat and Chrysler Automobiles CEO Sergio Marchionne, who has helmed both Fiat and Ferrari since 2004, stepped down Sept. 21 as the leader of the conglomerate as he lay gravely ill in a Swiss Hospital apparently due to complications from shoulder surgery that he had in late June.

Marchionne, 66, was replaced by Mike Manley, head of the company’s Jeep and Ram brands, by the board at a special meeting it held that day.

Ferrari itself named John Eikann, chairman of FCA (Fiat Chrysler Corporation of America) as its new chairman in the wake of Marchionne’s declining health.

In a statement Saturday, he said, “I am profoundly saddened to learn of Sergio’s state of health. It is a situation that was unthinkable until a few hours ago, and one that leaves us all with a real sense of injustice. “My first thoughts go to Sergio and his family.”

UPDATE July 23: News media are reporting that Marchionne is in a deep coma suffering from lung cancer. His family is with him and we are praying for him and his family and for a full recovery.