When someone becomes a CEO, he or she relinquishes the luxury of privacy, including regular updates to the board on health issues. If the CEO is important enough to be worth all of that money, then his or her health is a risk factor the board must be able to consider and plan for.
The shock revelation by a Zurich hospital that Sergio Marchionne had been seriously ill for more than a year raised the obvious question: How could a chainsmoking workaholic disguise it from senior colleagues?
The former CEO of both Fiat Chrysler Automobiles and Ferrari, who died on Wednesday, didn’t disclose his health condition to public shareholders of the two automakers. Their combined market value tops $50 billion, but has dropped almost 10 percent since he was replaced last week. Fiat Chrysler has said it wasn’t aware, and the family has also said it didn’t inform either company.
Fiat Chrysler, citing health privacy, said it had “no knowledge of the facts” regarding the illness of its former CEO, responding Thursday to the hospital’s statement he had been ill for more than a year.