John Elkann

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John Elkann

John Elkann (born April 1, 1976) is a global industrialist. He was the chosen heir of his grandfather Gianni Agnelli[1], and chairs and controls the automaker Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (which owns the Abarth, Alfa Romeo, Chrysler, Dodge, Jeep, Fiat, Fiat Professional, Lancia, Maserati, Mopar and Ram brands).[2]


  • LaStampa has always been a free newspaper because of its economical sustainability, and we're proud of it. It's the only way for a newspaper to be independent.
  • Many things are linked to being able to live with uncertainty, ...with paradoxes. But this can be a strength of an organisation and a situation.
  • I was born in New York, then I went to the UK, then I went to Brazil, then I went to France, then I studied in Italy. My life was always about being confronted with an environment where you had to adapt.
  • (talking about his children) I'm interested in avoiding two types of behaviour: one is the sense of guilt and the other is a sense of entitlement. If these two are avoided, then the rest is up to them.
  • I am a big believer of what Darwin discovered in the Galapagos, proving that the species most responsive to change will survive over apparently stronger or more intelligent competitors.
  • As an entrepreneur you have responsibilities in trying to operate well in what you have to do. There is a positive effect if you end up doing that. That’s where I try to spend most of my efforts.
  • The lesson I have learnt is that when a family and a business function, they function together. You have to have a family that works and a business that works and the two will end up working well alongside.
  • I learnt not to be desperate in bad times, and I am learning not to be bullish when times are good.
  • Artists have a sensibility that others don't have. They have a way of reading into the future.
  • We have been reflecting on the journey we have taken since the foundation of FIAT back in 1899 because, though we are proud of our past achievements, we are most interested in what we can learn from them, and also what we can learn from our mistakes.
  • Our family has been in business for a long time and has overcome wars, revolutions, crises and pandemics and we know that our response to the current crisis will require, as Leonardo da Vinci said five centuries ago: “The urgency of doing. Knowing is not enough; we must apply. Being willing is not enough we must do.”


  • He is extremely intelligent and has a great sense of responsibility. I've seen, in the past few years, he has managed several crises with extreme dignity and wisdom.
  • John was in exactly the right place at the right time to understand manufacturing at its deepest level — at a cellular level. His apprenticeship culminated in an insight that was critical to Fiat’s survival. He noticed a persistent gap between what happens on the factory floor of, say, a headlight plant in Birmingham, and what information filters up to headquarters.

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