Confirmed by Maranello overnight, Camilleri has departed from his CEO role and board member position, with chairman John Elkann stepping into the former role on an interim basis. He’s also charged with finding a successor.
Camilleri took over in mid-2018, shortly after former CEO Sergio Marchionne died from complications following surgery. It’s widely reported that Camilleri was hospitalised due to Covid-19 in recent weeks and is recovering at home, but his illness wasn’t the main reason for his resignation.
In a statement, Camilleri said: “Ferrari has been a part of my life, and serving as its chief executive has been a great privilege. My admiration for the extraordinary men and women of Maranello and for the passion and dedication they apply to everything they do knows no bounds. I’m proud of the company’s numerous achievements since 2018 and know that Ferrari’s best years are still to come.”
The sudden leadership change comes after a period of difficulty for the wider automotive industry during the Covid-19 pandemic. Ferrari’s shares have bucked the wider trend, rising by about a fifth throughout 2020, but fell by around 1% this morning as the news broke.
Camilleri oversaw Ferrari’s greatest year to date for sales in 2019, with more than 10,000 cars shifted for the first time. Five new models were introduced in that year, while average transaction prices increased as the brand moved even further upmarket and increased its customisation options.
Elkann is unlikely to stay in his interim position for long, because he’s set to become chairman of the merged Fiat Chrysler and PSA Group company, Stellantis, once the merger is finalised.
Elkann is also CEO of holding company Exor as a member of the Agnelli family that controls Ferrari.