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MILAN — Fiat Chrysler Automobiles CEO Mike Manley is in pole position to take over the top job at Ferrari, Italian daily Il Messaggero said.

Names of possible candidates to lead Ferrari are emerging in the Italian press after the automaker said on Thursday that Louis Camilleri, 65, was retiring as CEO with immediate effect. Camilleri is recovering at home from COVID-19 after a spell in hospital.

Ferrari and FCA Chairman John Elkann, the scion of Italy’s Agnelli family, is leading Ferrari on an interim basis until a permanent successor is found.

Elkann, who is CEO of Exor, the family’s investment company that controls Ferrari, could entrust the automaker, the family’s most valuable asset, to Manley Il Messaggero said in the unsourced report published on Saturday.

Manley’s long auto industry experience could revive Ferrari’s fortunes in Formula One racing, the paper said. Ferrari has not won a F1 championship race all year and is in 6th place currently, heading for the team’s worst performance since 1980.

Ferrari and FCA declined to comment on the report.

According to Il Messaggero, a board meeting at Ferrari next week could name a new CEO.

Ferrari is due to hold a pre-scheduled board meeting on Tuesday.

A spokesman for F1 on Friday dismissed rumors that the former head of Ferrari’s racing team and ex-Lamborghini chief Stefano Domenicali could take Camilleri’s role, saying Domenicali was looking forward to starting his new job as F1 CEO on Jan. 1 as planned.

Besides Domenicali, Italian media have cited Maserati’s chief operating officer, Davide Grasso, as a possible candidate to be Ferrari CEO.

Fiat Chrysler is set to merge with Peugeot maker PSA Group by the end of the first quarter of next year. The CEO post at the new group, Stellantis, will
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