Initial impressions can be misleading. No bohemian, Marchionne, 58, collects fine Swiss watches and owns several Ferraris. And while his heart may be in academia, his head is ruled by business. Marchionne combines the charm of a salesman with the analytical skills of an actuary and isn't shy about demonstrating an unshakable confidence in his own abilities. Over a three-course dinner (anchovies in olive oil with capers, seafood risotto, mixed fruit) in his private dining room at Fiat's corporate headquarters in Turin, Italy, Marchionne makes no apologies for Chrysler's liabilities (weak technology, poor quality) because he knows exactly how he's going to fix them. Bringing his Fiat management style to Chrysler, Marchionne (mar-key-OWN-ee) believes his competitive advantage is speed. By wiping out layers of management and making decisions more quickly, he'll get closer to the market and bring out new models faster than his slower-moving rivals.
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