Ferrari chief Camilleri to retire with immediate effect

Ferrari’s chief executive Louis Camilleri has retired from the supercar brand for personal reasons with immediate effect, just two years after taking on the role.

Mr Camilleri, 65, took the helm in July 2018, replacing Sergio Marchionne after the Fiat stalwart died.

Recently, Mr Camilleri had been admitted to hospital after catching Covid-19. Though he is now at home, he has decided to step down to aid his recovery, it is understood.

Early into his tenure, Mr Camilleri set out a strategy in which Ferrari expanded its line-up of grand touring cars, as well as boosting its traditional roster of supercars, and embarked on its first utility vehicle, the “Purosangue”. Last year the company launched five models, the most in its history.

John Elkann, scion of the Agnelli dynasty that controls the supercar maker along with Fiat Chrysler and CNH Industrials, will step in as acting chief executive until a replacement is found.

“I would like to express our most sincere thanks to Louis for his unstinting dedication as our chief executive officer since 2018 and as a member of our board of directors since 2015,” he said.

“His passion for Ferrari has been limitless and under his leadership the company has further affirmed its position as one of the world’s greatest companies, capitalising on its truly unique heritage and unerring quest for excellence. We wish him and his family a long and happy retirement.”

Mr Camilleri said he was “proud of the company’s numerous achievements since 2018 and knows that Ferrari’s best years are still to come.”

On Thursday, he also retired from his position as chairman of tobacco group Philip Morris. Chief executive Andre Calantzopoulos will become the group’s executive chairman in May, replaced by operations boss Jacek Olczak as CEO, the company said on Thursday.

Andre Calantzopoulos © Bloomberg

The prancing horse brand has weathered the pandemic better than almost any other car group, cushioned by its luxury and dedicated customer base. Its third-quarter pre-tax profits were €222m, down only 2 per cent compared to a year earlier, while overall revenues fell 3 per cent to €888m.

“During the uncertain and difficult times of the Covid-19 pandemic, Louis led our company with a steady hand, making the safety and well being of our employees, their families, and our community his first and foremost priority,” Mr Elkann wrote in a letter sent on Thursday evening to Ferrari employees.

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