John Elkann

Ferrari Monza Italy Ferrari P

John Elkann
John Elkann FCA Wall Street.jpg
Elkann in 2014, when FCA was first listed on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE)
John Philip Jacob Elkann

(1976-04-01) 1 April 1976 (age 44)
Alma materPolitecnico di Torino
OccupationChairman, Fiat Chrysler Automobiles
Chairman and CEO, Exor
Chairman, Ferrari
Spouse(s)Lavinia Borromeo
Parent(s)Margherita Agnelli and Alain Elkann
RelativesGianni Agnelli, grandfather
Edoardo Agnelli, great-grandfather
Giovanni Agnelli, great-great-grandfather
Andrea Agnelli, cousin

John Philip Jacob Elkann (born 1 April 1976) is an Italian American industrialist. In 2008, he was the chosen heir of his grandfather Gianni Agnelli,[1] and chairs and controls the automaker Fiat Chrysler Automobiles. He is the chairman and CEO of Exor, the holding company controlled by the Agnelli family, which also owns Partner Re and holds a controlling stake in Ferrari, CNH Industrial and Juventus F.C. In July 2018 he was appointed as chairman of Ferrari after Sergio Marchionne had to leave due to health issues.


Early life

Born in New York City, John Elkann holds both Italian and American citizenship. He is the first son of Alain Elkann, a New York-born journalist and writer of French Jewish and Italian Jewish background,[2] and his then wife Italian Margherita Agnelli. His parents divorced in 1981 and both have remarried.[3][4] Elkann's maternal grandparents were the industrialist Gianni Agnelli and the Italian socialite Marella Agnelli (born Donna Marella Caracciolo di Castagneto). His paternal great-grand-uncle was the banker Ettore Ovazza.

He has a brother, Lapo, and a sister, Ginevra, as well as five half-siblings from his mother's second marriage, as Margherita Agnelli de Pahlen, to Serge de Pahlen. His younger half-siblings are: Maria (born 1983), Pierre (born 1986), twins Sophie and Anna (born 1988) and Tatiana (born 1990).[5][6][7]

Elkann attended primary school in the United Kingdom and Brazil,[8] before his family moved to Paris, where he obtained a baccalauréat scientifique at the State School Lycée Victor-Duruy in 1994.[9] Later the same year, he moved to Italy to attend the Politecnico di Torino (Turin), where he graduated with a degree in management engineering in 2000.[9] As a result of his international upbringing, he is fluent in four languages.[10]


While pursuing a degree in engineering, Elkann gained work experience through several internships: headlight plant in Birmingham, England (1996), production line in Tychy, Poland (1997), car dealership in Lille, France (1998) and also at GE's CIG (corporate initiatives group) where he worked on a thesis on e-auctions (1999).[11] In December 1997 Elkann was selected as the heir of his grandfather Gianni Agnell in place of Giovanni Alberto Agnelli, the son of Gianni's younger brother, Umberto, who had died at the age of 33. He was appointed to the Fiat board at the age of 21.[12] In 2000, after graduating in Engineering from Politecnico di Torino, he joined General Electric's Corporate Audit program. He left General Electric two years later.[13] He moved back to Turin to be closer to his ageing grandfather, as well as be closer to the family business.[14]

In 2003, he joined IFIL (now Exor)[15] and worked on the turnaround of Fiat Group.

Elkann was instrumental in the appointment of FCA CEO Sergio Marchionne, in May 2004.[16]

After the deaths of his grandfather Gianni Agnelli in 2003, and his great-uncle Umberto Agnelli in 2004, Elkann became vice chairman of Fiat and vice chairman of Giovanni Agnelli Sapaz (now Giovanni Agnelli B.V.), the family partnership controlling EXOR.[17] In 2008, Elkann replaced 83-year-old Gianluigi Gabetti as the head of IFIL, which manages a portfolio worth eight billion euros.[18] In 2010, he became chairman of Fiat S.p.A. (now Fiat Chrysler Automobiles), succeeding Luca Cordero di Montezemolo, and chairman of the Giovanni Agnelli Sapaz, succeeding Gianluigi Gabetti [it]. In February 2011, he was appointed chairman and CEO of EXOR.[19] Since Elkann's appointment, the value of the company's assets has grown and multiplied nine times in ten years.[20]

He is also Chairman of Ferrari,[21] Vice Chairman of GEDI Gruppo Editoriale S.p.a.[22] and a board member of The Economist Group and Partner Re.[23]

He is Chairman of the Agnelli Foundation, a philanthropic institution supporting education.[24]

In 2013, he was included by Fortune in the world's most influential managers under the age of 40.[25]

In June 2017, to celebrate the 150th anniversary of Italian newspaper La Stampa, which was acquired by the Agnelli family in 1926, he organized "The Future of Newspapers",[26] an international conference attended by Jeff Bezos (The Washington Post), Lionel Barber (The Financial Times), Tsuneo Kita (Nikkei), Jessica Lessin (The Information), Gary Liu (South China Morning Post Publishers), John Micklethwait (Bloomberg News), Zanny Minton Beddoes (The Economist), Mark Thompson (The New York Times), Robert Thomson (NewsCorp) and others.

In February 2018, he featured as one of the protagonists on the podcast series by Reid Hoffman (Linkedin co-founder) Masters of Scale. In this interview he discussed the conditions which enable companies to last over centuries (using the metaphor of the "phoenix"), and described the case of Fiat, from the crisis of 2004 to the creation of Fiat Chrysler.[27]

In 2019, Elkann announced he will be trying to merge Fiat Chrysler (FCA) with Peugeot S.A. (Groupe PSA), with the goal of forming the world's 4th largest OEM by volume and 3rd largest by revenues.[28]. In July 2020, John and FCA's CEO Mike Manley announced that the name of the combined company will be Stellantis.[29][30]

In 2019, under Elkann's management, Exor purchased the controlling stake in GEDI Gruppo Editoriale from CIR Group for $113 million.[31]

In March 2020, Elkann and FCA’s board of directors agreed to forego their remaining compensation for 2020 in an act of shared sacrifice brought on by the Coronavirus pandemic. [32]

In July 2020 he took part in the institutional presentation of the full-electric New 500 to the President of the Italian Republic, Sergio Mattarella and Giuseppe Conte, the Italian Prime Minister.[33]

Personal life

John Elkann

Elkann was baptized and raised Catholic.[34] Elkann married Donna Lavinia Borromeo (born Lavinia Ida Borromeo-Arese on 10 March 1977 in Milan, Italy) a member of the prominent Italian aristocratic family the House of Borromeo.[35][36] She is the daughter of Don Carlo Ferdinando Borromeo, Count of Arona (born in 1935), the son of Vitaliano Borromeo, 2nd Prince of Angera. They married in a Roman Catholic ceremony in the Cappella Bianca on Isola Madre, one of the Borromean Islands of Lake Maggiore.[37]

They have three children.[38][39][40][41]

Innovation, technology and education

Since 2009, has been attending the annual "media and tech conference" organized in July every year by Allen & Co at Sun Valley, Idaho.[42]

He is also a regular contributor to the Google Camp, which every year gathers tech entrepreneurs, investors, representatives of institutions and pop stars in Sciacca, Agrigento and other places around Sicily.[43]

In June 2018, he invited Peter Thiel, Reid Hoffman, Xavier Niel and other global tech leaders to the SEI Torino Forum for the international launch of the new School of Entrepreneurship and Innovation of Turin,[44] the initiative supported by the Agnelli Foundation helping university level students to start new businesses.[45]

In April 2019, along with CERN's Director-General Fabiola Gianotti and the Italian architect Renzo Piano, he participated in a media event to unveil Science Gateway, a new scientific education and outreach centre of CERN, which aims to share knowledge and technology with society.[46]


Awards and honors



  1. ^ "John Elkann: Fiat's fresh face". 8 July 2013.
  2. ^ Jewish Telegraph Agency: "Noted Italian writer appeals for Israel" By Ruth Ellen Gruber 13 June 2010
  3. ^ "Biografia di Rosi Greco". 28 April 2010.
  4. ^ "Margherita Agnelli". 29 September 2005.
  5. ^ "Margherita Agnelli, * 1955". Retrieved 2 October 2015.
  6. ^ "Person Page 16329". Retrieved 2 October 2015.
  7. ^ "Edoardo Agnelli b. 2 Jan 1892 Verona d. 1935: Geneagraphie - Families all over the world". Geneagraphie. Retrieved 2 October 2015.
  8. ^ "Industrialist Heir to the Fiat Dynasty Chart His Course". 3 August 2015.
  9. ^ a b "Testimonial - John Elkann, Presidente di FCA ed EXOR". Politecnico di Torino.
  10. ^ "Unlikely heir who saved the family jewels". Financial Times. 2 March 2011.(registration required)
  11. ^ "John Elkann" (PDF). 16 October 2017.
  12. ^ "John Elkann" (PDF). 10 October 2017.
  13. ^ "Elkann nel Cda Fiat a 22 anni". La Repubblica. 8 July 2013.
  14. ^ "John Elkann: How to build a company to last | Masters of Scale podcast". WaitWhat. Retrieved 20 March 2018.
  15. ^ "Dynasty calls". Retrieved 25 July 2018.
  16. ^ "John Elkann: Fiat's fresh face". Fortune. 30 May 2004. Archived from the original on 15 September 2013.
  17. ^ "John Elkann" (PDF). 10 October 2017.
  18. ^ "John Elkann, 32, Takes Helm of Italy's Fiat Dynasty". 13 May 2008. Retrieved 24 December 2019.
  19. ^ "Press release - Exor announces new organizational structure" (PDF). 11 February 2011.
  20. ^ "Is This Europe's Berkshire Hathaway?". WSJ.
  21. ^ "Ferrari – Management and Board". 10 October 2017.
  22. ^ "GEDI Gruppo Editoriale - Governance". 10 October 2017.
  23. ^ "PartnerRe – Management and Board". 10 October 2017.
  24. ^ "Fondazione Agnelli - Consiglio di Amministrazione". 6 February 2017.
  25. ^ "Fortune's 40 under 40 — The hottest young stars in business". Fortune. 19 September 2013. Retrieved 26 September 2016.
  26. ^ "The Future of Newspaper".
  27. ^ "John Elkann: How to Build a Company to Last | Masters of Scale podcast". WaitWhat. Retrieved 2 March 2018.
  28. ^ FCA-PSA Merger Press Release. "Groupe PSA and FCA agree to merge" (PDF).
  29. ^ "Fiat Chrysler to Be Renamed Stellantis After Merger With PSA".
  30. ^ "Stellantis: The name of the new group resulting from the merger of FCA and Groupe PSA" (PDF).
  31. ^ Beech, James (6 December 2019). "De Benedetti family sells Italy's biggest media group GEDI to Agnelli family". Retrieved 24 December 2019.
  32. ^ "Fiat Chrysler CEO Takes 50% Pay Cut". Wall Street Journal.
  33. ^ "The New Fiat 500 makes its debut at the Quirinale and Palazzo Chigi".
  34. ^ "Jewish and Italian: Celebrity writer celebrates his heritage" Lubbock Avalanche Journal. Victor L. Simpson. 4 December 2004
  35. ^ "Lavinia Borromeo". Retrieved 2 October 2015.
  36. ^ "Lavinia Ida Borromeo-Arese, * 1977". Retrieved 2 October 2015.
  37. ^ The Wedding of the Decade | Italian Lakes Wedding Planner. Retrieved on 24 August 2013 | Father Biagio Pizzi and Don Giuseppe Volpati presided over the ceremony. The church was adorned with white and yellow flowers.
  38. ^ "E' nato Leone, figlio di Jaki e Lavinia Inizia la sesta generazione Agnelli". La Repubblica (in Italian). 27 August 2006. Retrieved 28 September 2013.
  39. ^ "È nato Oceano Elkann". Il Corriere della Sera (in Italian). 12 November 2007. Retrieved 28 September 2013.
  40. ^ "È nata Vita, la terza figlia di John Elkann". Corriere della Sera. 24 January 2012.
  41. ^ "E' nata Vita la terzogenita di casa Elkann". La Stampa (in Italian). 25 January 2012. Retrieved 28 September 2013.
  42. ^ "John Elkann at Sun Valley Conference".
  43. ^ "Google Camp in Agrigento".
  44. ^ "SEI Torino Forum 2018".
  45. ^ "Fondazione Agnelli - School of Entrepreneurship & Innovation" (PDF).
  46. ^ "CERN unveils its Science Gateway project". CERN. Retrieved 6 February 2020.
  47. ^ "Ferrari - Governance". 21 July 2018.
  48. ^ "New Board of Directors roles at GEDI".
  49. ^ "Pinacoteca Giovanni e Marella Agnelli - Consiglio Direttivo". 16 October 2017.