The founder of the Fiat Chrysler Automobiles, Sergio Marchionne, was treated for more than a year at the University Hospital of Zurich, where he died, because of a "serious illness" the hospital on Thursday.
Marchionne had received state-of-the-art treatment, the hospital said in a statement, adding, "We deeply regret his death and express our deepest condolences to the family." It did not elaborate on the nature of the disease or treatment, and said that it had issued the statement in response to rumors about Marchionne's treatment.
Fiat Chrysler said it could not comment on the hospital's statement because of privacy laws. It added that the company "had no knowledge of the health facts of Mr. Marchionne," aside from the surgery on his right shoulder, which was previously announced.
The company said it was not until last Friday that it became known that the 66-year-old's health had deteriorated seriously and he was unable to return to work. The next day, the board appointed a new CEO, Mike Manley
The Italian news agency ANSA reported that the cause of death was heart failure, with an episode that brought him to ICU during his recovery from surgery and a second cause Death. Fiat Chrysler declined to comment on this report.
Marchionne was supposed to hand over the reins of the CEO next year anyway, but this transition was accelerated by the sudden deterioration of his health. He was also replaced as CEO of the Ferrari Sports Car Company and as Chairman of CNH Industrial.