"It's as important to walk away from the table as it is to sit down," Marchionne told Bloomberg.
Marchionne has been at Fiat since June of 2004 and is one of the chief architects behind the Italian company's acquisition of Chrysler. Despite his successes, he does sound quite ready to move beyond the auto industry, rhetorically asking his Bloomberg interviewers if there "are other things I like to do apart from this?"
"Phenomenally, yes. I like to be able to think, and that's not always possible in this job."
The 62-year-old exec, meanwhile, indicated that the lead role at the legally Dutch company will change with his departure. As for who will take Marchionne's place, Fiat Chairman John Elkann pointed out that it won't be him, telling Bloomberg his family's non-executive role in the company "has worked well," adding that the company is "comfortable with the bench we have."
Elkann told Bloomberg that potential replacements for Marchionne could include Jeep boss Mike Manley, as well as Fiat's Brazilian and European execs Cledorvino Belini and Alfredo Altavilla.