One of the most surprising recent success stories in the corporate world is the rapid turnaround of Chrysler under the leadership of CEO Sergio Marchionne. Chrysler went bankrupt during the 2008-2009 automotive industry crisis and needed a large bailout loan from the government. But Marchionne exceeded all expectations and not only returned Chrysler to profitability within two years, but also managed to repay its loan from the government six years ahead of schedule.
But Marchionne is not your typical CEO. His approach to turning around Chrysler has been described as “tough love” and his habits of rapidly hiring and firing senior executives has raised some eyebrows. Simultaneously serving as both the CEO of Chrysler and CEO of Italian automaker Fiat, he is known as a workaholic and micromanager. Marchionne’s leadership style makes for an ideal case study due to his unique personality, and because plenty of articles written about him are available in the Trident library and on the internet.
Review the background materials on leadership traits, behaviors, and styles. Then do some research on Sergio Marchionne’s leadership style and personality. Here are some articles to get you started:
Wernle, B., & Ciferri, L. (2009). Life under Marchionne: New stars, hasty exits. Automotive News, 84(6381), 1-1,42. [ProQuest]
2011 All-Stars: Sergio Marchionne. (2011). Automotive News, 86(6492), 28. [ProQuest]
Flavelle, D. (2014, Mar 08). CEO aims to steer Chrysler back on track. Toronto Star, Toronto. [ProQuest]
Wernle, B. (2010). Inside Chrysler’s Mind. Automotive News, 84(6396), 1-1,19. [ProQuest]
Once you are finished with your research on Marchionne and have thoroughly reviewed the background materials on leadership traits, behaviors, and styles, write a four- to five-page paper addressing the following questions. For each answer make sure to cite at least one of the Case Assignment articles listed on this page as well as one of the required textbook chapters from the background materials such as Avery (2004) and Wellington and Foster (2009).
- How would you describe Marchionne’s personality and leadership traits? Refer to the background textbook material on leadership traits, and consider the common traits listed in the background texts such as drive, intelligence, integrity, and self-confidence.
- Would you describe Marchionne’s behavior as being task-oriented, or people-centered/relationship-oriented? Refer to background text material on leader behaviors.
- How would you describe Marchionne’s leadership style? Consider leadership style discussed in the background text materials such as autocratic style, participative/democratic style, and laissez-faire/free-rein style.