Heroes. Most people grow out of them quite quickly but as I’ve got older I’ve more and more embraced that part of me that remains eternally youthful. I have sporting heroes, design heroes and today I’m absolutely devastated at the loss of my business hero – Sergio Marchionne.
Sergio Marchionne represents every value and ideal that I hold dear – courage, strength, drive, humanity, the desire for a better tomorrow, the knowledge we can shape it and above all else – the belief in the impossible.
In an incredibly packed career, he saved two massive car companies from bankruptcy – Fiat and Chrysler, turning them into great companies, allowing hundreds of thousands of people to keep or obtain employment, he turned Ferrari into the most valuable car company on the planet and sorted the F1 Team as well.
More than that, he was famous for doing it all on 5 hours sleep a night, drinking far too many espressos a day, chain-smoking and refusing to wear anything but a black sweater. I never had the privilege of meeting him but he sounded like an absolutely amazing man.
I am unbelievably sad at his passing and feel a bit robbed of what was yet to come. However, those emotions pale into insignificance compared to the incredible gratitude I have for the inspiration, an inspiration which I’m sure will last a lifetime.
Thank you, rest in peace.