Is Chrysler Too Big a Mess for Fiat's Turnaround Artista?

Chrysler's new boss, Sergio Marchionne, saved Fiat, but he wants to be viewed as a good manager, not a heroic leader. The American carmaker may need both

Roberto Frankenberg / Corbis Outline

Rolling Marchionne broke the mold at Fiat (that's founder Giovanni Agnelli in the portrait).

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 also-ran computer company into a global icon...

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