Lapo Elkann to take over from Luca di Montezemolo UPDATE The Elkann brothers are moving in, ladies and gentlemen. First, Luca di Montezemolo handed over the chairmanship of the Fiat group to John Elkann. Now, reports from Italy are indicating that the affable Marquis di Montezemolo could be preparing to abdicate the Ferrari throne in favor of John's rakish younger brother Lapo.
Montezemolo had assumed the Fiat chairmanship after the passing of Gianni Agnelli, as the controlling family waited for its scions to become ready to take control. Once they were, the Marquis gave up the group chair to John as reports proliferated of Montezemolo's political aspirations. These were followed by public calls from within Italy's political echelon for Montezemolo to lead a coalition to eject the troubled Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi, who is currently under trial for alleged relations with underage prostitutes.
If Montezemolo does make the long-anticipated move from business and sports into politics and statesmanship, reports indicate that Lapo Elkann could be at the top of the list to take over, instead of promoting someone like CEO Amadeo Felisa, Vice-Chairman Piero Ferrari (son of company founder Enzo) or Stefano Domenicali, director of the Scuderia (a position from which both Montezemolo and Jean Todt ascended to overall control), from within Ferrari's own management.
Lapo himself has had a colorful past, driving a denim-clad 599, reportedly overdosing on cocaine with a group of transsexuals, lending a hand at a Lakers game, working for Henry Kissinger, and perhaps most pertinently, directing Fiat's marketing department.
04/05/11 (GMM) Luca di Montezemolo is on the cusp of entering Italian politics and it could mean he vacates his role as Ferrari president.
|Luca di Montezemolo|
Mere days ago, the famous Maranello marque's board of directors reinstated 63-year-old Montezemolo for the next three years.
But the latest suggestion is that Montezemolo has definitely decided to enter politics.
"I do not think this is one of the key questions of Italian politics," said Roberto Formigoni, the president of the Lombardy region.
"But if someone from civil society enters politics I will welcome him," he added when asked about the Montezemolo rumors.
And Montezemolo told Max magazine, published on Tuesday: "We need a managerial class to enter politics to give, not to take.
"We must start working together as a team and spread the culture of all-inclusive group work."
The Italian racing magazine Autosprint quoted Massimo Cacciari, the former Venice mayor, as saying Montezemolo has already made his decision "but first we must arrange things with his Ferrari".
The report tipped Lapo Elkann, the 34-year-old brother of Fiat chairman John Elkann, to succeed Montezemolo, supported by Fiat CEO Sergio Marchionne.