Ferrari is facing a leadership crisis after their CEO Louis Camilleri abruptly resigned.
The resignation is complicating the Italian supercar manufacturer’s transition toward electric vehicles. Chairman John Elkann will take over the CEO role on an interim basis, Ferrari announced. His primary focus will be to find a new leader, just 30 months after picking Camilleri to succeed Sergio Marchionne, who died in July 2018.
Camilleri, 65, is leaving after he had to be hospitalized with Covid-19. He’s recovering at home. However, the infection wasn’t the main reason for his exit, according to Ferrari. Camilleri also stepped down as Chairman of tobacco giant Philip Morris International.
Camilleri’s departure comes at a difficult time for Ferrari. The pandemic has depressed auto sales just as the industry is shifting away from the internal combustion engine — a key feature of the high-powered Ferrari cars.
During his brief stint as CEO, Camilleri oversaw the transformation of Ferrari into a full-fledged luxury brand. He revamped Ferrari’s line-up so it could keep boosting prices. The company introduced five new models in 2019. That helped increase annual sales to more than 10,000 units for the first time.
Ferrari is facing a big issue, as more stringent emissions regulations in the European Union are coming. While the company has said that 60% of its models will have a hybrid powertrain by 2022, Camilleri had previously expressed doubts the brand would go fully electric.