Ok, so the Ferrari of Formula 1 is slow—too slow in comparison to Mercedes. Consequently, Stefano Domenicali, the head of the Formula 1 Ferrari team, was forced to resign. However, during his six and a half years of managing the team, there have been a lot of difficult moments. Is this one really the worst?
Now that Domenicali is leaving, who is going to take his place? One would think that Ferrari will surely hire a super-knowledgeable, experienced, Formula 1 manager, but that’s not the case. Domenicali’s replacement will be a sales and marketing man, who has been banally described as most managers of large companies: one who requires “120 percent”.
His name is Marco Mattiacci. He’s 43 years old, and he used to sell Ferraris in Japan, China and North America—by far the easiest places to sell them. He has a reputation for being tough and taking no prisoners (the likes of Sergio Marchionne). But who actually chose Mattiacci? Marchionne or the president of Ferrari, Luca Cordero di Montezemolo?
There are many things we could say about what’s happening in Maranello. One could argue that Montezemolo has ever shrinking possibilities when it comes to decisions about certain maneuvers. While it’s true that the last board of directors confirmed Montezemolo’s presidency for another three years (2013 concluded with record results), it’s also true that Marchionne was able to place four new members on the board—all Fiat managers—including the ever-faithful Harald Wester, CEO of Maserati and Alfa Romeo. By the by, another rumor going around is that Marchionne wanted Domenicali’s resignation, not Montezemolo.
Thus the question: who’s really in charge at Ferrari? And why do all the rising managers of Fiat Chrysler–from Mattiacci to Altavilla (head of EMEA)—now more than ever, seem to resemble their supreme leader, the “sweater man”?