Chrysler's Sergio Marchionne: The Turnaround Artista

Courtesy of Fiat

Whenever Sergio Marchionne talks about his latest calling — fixing auto companies written off as basket cases — he doesn't sound anything like most auto types. For a start, he's a lawyer and an accountant rather than a car engineer, and instead of getting bogged down in long discussions about the merits of one particular type of engine or gearbox, he likes to talk about Apple.

Since he took over as chief executive of Italy's Fiat in 2004, the chain-smoking Canadian Italian has used Apple as a model, focusing on the way Steve Jobs transformed it from an...

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