Ferrari CEO Camilleri Resigns Abruptly for 'Personal Reasons'

Ferrari CEO Louis Camilleri retires as head of the iconic car company. He also steps down as a board member after being hospitalized for Covid-19.
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Ferrari  (RACE) - Get Report CEO Louis Camilleri abruptly retired as head of the iconic car company, citing "personal reasons."

Camilleri, 65, who also stepped down as a board member, is leaving after being hospitalized for Covid-19, Bloomberg reported. 

Shares of the Maranello, Italy-based company were down slightly to $213 in trading Friday.

He’s recovering at home and the infection wasn’t the main reason for his exit, a company spokesman said, without elaborating. Camilleri also stepped down as chairman of Philip Morris International  (PM) - Get Report.

The tobacco company’s CEO Andre Calantzopoulos will become executive chairman right before the annual shareholders meeting in May. Lucio Noto, Philip Morris International's independent presiding director, will serve as interim chairman.

Camilleri is leaving the company just ahead of this weekend's Abu Dhabi Grand Prix. 

The coronavirus pandemic has depressed auto sales just as the industry is moving away from the internal combustion engine, which is a key feature of the high-powered Ferrari cars.

Chairman John Elkann will take over the chief executive position on an interim basis. He had picked Camilleri to succeed Sergio Marchionne, who died in July 2018 from complications after surgery.

“I would like to express our most sincere thanks to Louis for his unstinting dedication as our Chief Executive Officer since 2018 and as member of our Board of Directors since 2015," Elkann said in a statement.

 Marchionne orchestrated Ferrari’s 2016 spinoff from Fiat Chrysler  (FCAU) - Get Report, where he also served as CEO.

"Ferrari has been a part of my life and serving as its chief executive has been a great privilege," Camilleri said in a statement. "My admiration for the extraordinary men and women of Maranello and for the passion and dedication they apply to everything they do, knows no bounds."

Last month Ferrari beat Wall Street's third-quarter earnings expectations.