John Elkann

John Philip Jacob Elkann (born 1 April 1976) is an American-Italian 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), which has formerly represented 4.4% of Italy's GDP.[2] 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. Elkann was born in New York and holds both Italian and American citizenship.

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

1 April 1976 (age 43)
United States
Alma materPolitecnico di Torino
OccupationChairman, Fiat Chrysler Automobiles
Chairman and CEO, Exor
Chairman, Ferrari
Spouse(s)Lavinia Borromeo
Parent(s)Margherita Agnelli de Pahlen and Alain Elkann
RelativesGianni Agnelli grandfather
Edoardo Agnelli great-grandfather
Giovanni Agnelli (founder of Fiat) great-great-grandfather
Andrea Agnelli cousin


Early life

Born in New York City, John Elkann is the first son of Alain Elkann, a New York-born journalist and writer of French Jewish and Italian Jewish background,[3] and his then wife Italian Margherita Agnelli. His parents divorced in 1981 and both have remarried.[4][5] 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).[6][7][8]

Elkann attended primary school in the United Kingdom and Brazil,[9] before his family moved to Paris, where he obtained a baccalauréat scientifique at the State School Lycée Victor-Duruy in 1994.[10] 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.[10] As a result of his international upbringing, he is fluent in four languages.[11]


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).[12] In December 1997 Elkann was selected by his grandfather Gianni Agnelli to take the place in the family business 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.[13] 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.[14] He moved back to Turin to be closer to his ageing grandfather, as well as be closer to the family business.[15]

In 2003 he joined IFIL (now Exor)[16] and worked on the turnaround of Fiat Group.

Elkann was instrumental in the appointment of FCA CEO Sergio Marchionne, in May 2004.[17]

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.[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. In February 2011, he was appointed chairman and CEO of EXOR.[19]

He is also Chairman of Ferrari,[20] Vice Chairman of GEDI Gruppo Editoriale S.p.a.[21] and a board member of The Economist Group and Partner Re.[22]

He is Chairman of the Agnelli Foundation, a philanthropic institution supporting education.[23]

In 2013 he was included by Fortune in the world's most influential managers under the age of 40.[24]

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",[25] 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 the Fiat Chrysler.[26]

Personal life

Elkann was baptized and raised Catholic.[27] 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.[28][29] 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.[30]

They have three children.[31][32][33][34]

Innovation and technology

Since 2009 has been attending the annual "media and tech conference" organized in July every year by Allen & Co at Sun Valley, Idaho[35].

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.[36]

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[37], the initiative supported by the Agnelli Foundation helping university level students to start new businesses[38].


Awards and honors

  • Appeal of Conscience Award, September 2010


  1. ^ "John Elkann: Fiat's fresh face". 8 July 2013.
  2. ^ "Mass market brands". FCA Group.
  3. ^ Jewish Telegraph Agency: "Noted Italian writer appeals for Israel" By Ruth Ellen Gruber June 13, 2010
  4. ^ "Biografia di Rosi Greco". 28 April 2010.
  5. ^ "Margherita Agnelli". 29 September 2005.
  6. ^ "Margherita Agnelli, * 1955". Retrieved 2 October 2015.
  7. ^ "Person Page 16329". Retrieved 2 October 2015.
  8. ^ "Edoardo Agnelli b. 2 Jan 1892 Verona d. 1935: Geneagraphie - Families all over the world". Geneagraphie. Retrieved 2 October 2015.
  9. ^ "Industrialist Heir to the Fiat Dynasty Chart His Course". 3 August 2015.
  10. ^ a b "Testimonial - John Elkann, Presidente di FCA ed EXOR". Politecnico di Torino.
  11. ^ "Unlikely heir who saved the family jewels". Financial Times. 2 March 2011.(registration required)
  12. ^ "John Elkann" (PDF). 16 October 2017.
  13. ^ "John Elkann" (PDF). 10 October 2017.
  14. ^ "Elkann nel Cda Fiat a 22 anni". La Repubblica. 8 July 2013.
  15. ^ "John Elkann: How to build a company to last | Masters of Scale podcast". WaitWhat. Retrieved 20 March 2018.
  16. ^ "Dynasty calls". Retrieved 25 July 2018.
  17. ^ "John Elkann: Fiat's fresh face". Fortune. 30 May 2004. Archived from the original on 15 September 2013.
  18. ^ "John Elkann" (PDF). 10 October 2017.
  19. ^ "Press release - Exor announces new organizational structure" (PDF). 11 February 2011.
  20. ^ "Ferrari – Management and Board". 10 October 2017.
  21. ^ "GEDI Gruppo Editoriale - Governance". 10 October 2017.
  22. ^ "PartnerRe – Management and Board". 10 October 2017.
  23. ^ "Fondazione Agnelli - Consiglio di Amministrazione". 6 February 2017.
  24. ^ "Fortune's 40 under 40 — The hottest young stars in business". Fortune. 19 September 2013. Retrieved 26 September 2016.
  25. ^ "The Future of Newspaper".
  26. ^ "John Elkann: How to Build a Company to Last | Masters of Scale podcast". WaitWhat. Retrieved 2 March 2018.
  27. ^ "Jewish and Italian: Celebrity writer celebrates his heritage" Lubbock Avalanche Journal. Victor L. Simpson. December 04, 2004
  28. ^ "Lavinia Borromeo". Retrieved 2 October 2015.
  29. ^ "Lavinia Ida Borromeo-Arese, * 1977". Retrieved 2 October 2015.
  30. ^ The Wedding of the Decade | Italian Lakes Wedding Planner. Retrieved on 2013-08-24 | Father Biagio Pizzi and Don Giuseppe Volpati presided over the ceremony. The church was adorned with white and yellow flowers.
  31. ^ "E' nato Leone, figlio di Jaki e Lavinia Inizia la sesta generazione Agnelli". La Repubblica (in Italian). 27 August 2006. Retrieved 28 September 2013.
  32. ^ "È nato Oceano Elkann". Il Corriere della Sera (in Italian). 12 November 2007. Retrieved 28 September 2013.
  33. ^ "È nata Vita, la terza figlia di John Elkann". Corriere della Sera. 24 January 2012.
  34. ^ "E' nata Vita la terzogenita di casa Elkann". La Stampa (in Italian). 25 January 2012. Retrieved 28 September 2013.
  35. ^ "John Elkann at Sun Valley Conference".
  36. ^ "Google Camp in Agrigento".
  37. ^ "SEI Torino Forum 2018".
  38. ^ "Fondazione Agnelli - School of Entrepreneurship & Innovation" (PDF).
  39. ^ "Ferrari - Governance". 21 July 2018.
  40. ^ "Pinacoteca Giovanni e Marella Agnelli - Consiglio Direttivo". 16 October 2017.

Further reading


Agnelli (Italian: [aɲˈɲɛlli]) is an Italian surname literally meaning "sheep". Notable people with the surname include:

Members of the Agnelli family, the Agnelli industrial and business family of northern Italy, including:

Edoardo Agnelli (1831-1871), Italian entrepreneur and politician, father of Giovanni (1866–1945)

Aniceta Agnelli (1846-1920) born Aniceta Frisetti, wife of Edoardo Agnelli (1831-1871)

Giovanni Agnelli (1866–1945), Italian manufacturer and co-founder of Fiat in 1899, FIAT chief 1900-1945

Clara Agnelli (1869-1946) born Clara Boselli, wife of Giovanni (1866–1945)

Edoardo Agnelli (1892–1935), Italian industrialist, son of Giovanni

Virginia Agnelli (1899–1945) born Donna Virginia Bourbon del Monte, Italian princess, wife of Edoardo (1892-1935)

Clara Agnelli (1920-2016), mother of Prince Egon von Fürstenberg and Princess Ira von Fürstenberg, eldest daughter of Edoardo (1892-1935)

Gianni Agnelli (1921–2003), the influential Italian industrialist and FIAT chairman 1966-2003, eldest son of Edoardo (1892-1935)

Marella Agnelli (1927–2019), born Donna Marella Caracciolo di Castagneto, Italian princess and style icon, wife of Gianni

Edoardo Agnelli (1954-2000), named after grandfather, only son of Gianni

Margherita Agnelli (1955-), only daughter of Gianni, married first to Alain Elkann, but now to Count Sergei de Pahlen, by whom she has further issue 1 son and 4 daughters (not listed). Her three children by Elkann are Fiat/Agnelli heirs; those by her second marriage are not.

John Elkann (1976 - ), chosen heir to FIAT and the Agnelli dynasty, elder son of Margherita

Lapo Elkann (1977 - ), FIAT executive and second son of Margherita

Ginevra Elkann (1979 - ), eldest daughter of Margherita

Susanna Agnelli (1922–2009), Italian politician and first female Foreign Minister of Italy, 2nd daughter of Edoardo (1892-1935)

Maria Sole Agnelli (1925 - ), 3rd daughter of Edoardo (1892-1935)

Cristiana Agnelli (1927 - ), wife of Count Brandolino Brandolini d'Adda, 4th daughter of Edoardo (1892-1935)

Giorgio Agnelli (1929-1965), 2nd son of Edoardo (1892-1935)

Umberto Agnelli (1934–2004), Italian industrialist and politician, FIAT chairman 2003-2004, 3rd son of Edoardo (1892-1935)

Giovanni Alberto Agnelli (1964-1997), CEO of Piaggio from 1992 to 1997, only son of Umberto by his first marriage

Andrea Agnelli (1975 - ), Italian businessman and president of Juventus F.C., only son of Umberto by his second marriage

Chris Agnelli, Northern Irish dance music producer

Cristian Agnelli, Italian football player

Federico Agnelli (1626–1702), Italian engraver and printer

Giuseppe Agnelli (1621–1706), Italian Catholic author

Guglielmo Agnelli (c.1238-1313), Italian sculptor and artist

Roger Agnelli (1959–2016), Brazilian entrepreneur, banker, and corporate leader

Salvatore Agnelli (1817–1874), Italian composer

Agnelli family

The Agnelli family (Italian pronunciation: [aɲˈɲɛlli]) is an Italian multi-industry business dynasty founded by Giovanni Agnelli, one of the original founders in Piedmont (in 1899) of what became the FIAT motor company. They are also primarily known for other activities in the automotive industry as the owners of Ferrari since 1969, Lancia (1969), Alfa Romeo (1986) and Chrysler (2009) through their own multinational corporation. The Agnelli family is also known for running the Italian Serie A football club Juventus F.C. since 1923 and being majority owners since the club's conversion to a public limited company in 1967. By 2010 the family controls Italy’s largest manufacturer, Fabbrica Italiana Automobili Torino (FIAT), through its holding company EXOR N.V..

The family has sometimes been described in the English-speaking world as "the Kennedys of Italy" and compared in the Italian-speaking world to the historic Florentine Republic's Medici family and the House of Savoy, from the duchy of the same name, for their role in the country's contemporary history and their activity of patronage in modern art and in sports. As of 2008, the extended Agnelli family included over two hundred members.

Andrea Agnelli

Andrea Agnelli (Italian pronunciation: [anˈdrɛːa aɲˈɲɛlli]; born 6 December 1975 in Turin) is an Italian businessman and chairman of Italian football club Juventus F.C. Since 2012, he has also served as Executive Member and Chairman of the European Club Association (ECA), and was also appointed to the UEFA Executive Committee since 2015. He is a member of the industrialist Agnelli family. He is also a board member of FIAT and Exor.


Elkann may refer to:

Alain Elkann (born 1950), an Italian novelist and journalist of Jewish descent, with French and American lineage

Ginevra Elkann (born 1979), an apprentice film director, granddaughter of Gianni Agnelli

John Elkann (born 1976), an Italian industrialist, grandson of the late Gianni Agnelli, heir to the automaker Fiat

Lapo Elkann (born 1977), a New York-born Italian industrialist, former marketing manager

Franzo Grande Stevens

Franzo Grande Stevens (born 13 September 1928) is an Italian lawyer, famous for being the lawyer of the Agnelli family. He was one of the triad of longtime advisor, who advised Gianni Agnelli and continues to advise his grandson and heir John Elkann. He served as chairman of Juventus F.C. from 2003 to 2006.

Gianni Agnelli

Giovanni "Gianni" Agnelli, (Italian: [ˈdʒanni aɲˈɲɛlli]; 12 March 1921 – 24 January 2003), also known as L'Avvocato ("The Lawyer"), was an influential Italian industrialist and principal shareholder of Fiat. As the head of Fiat, he controlled 4.4% of Italy's GDP, 3.1% of its industrial workforce and 16.5% of its industrial investment in research. He was the richest man in modern Italian history.As a public figure, Agnelli was also known worldwide for his impeccable, slightly eccentric fashion sense, which has influenced both Italian and international men's fashion.

Agnelli was awarded the decoration Knight Grand Cross of the Order of Merit of the Italian Republic in 1967 and the title Knight of Labour (Cavaliere del lavoro) in 1977. Following his death in 2003, control of the firm was gradually passed to his grandson and chosen heir, John Elkann.

Ancestors of John Elkann
8. Armand Elkann
4. Jean-Paul Elkann
9. Berthe Bloch
2. Alain Elkann
20. Ernesto Ovazza
10. Vittorio Ovazza
21. Celeste Malvano
5. Carla Ovazza
11. Olga Fubini
1. John Elkann
24. Giovanni Agnelli
12. Edoardo Agnelli
25. Clara Boselli
6. Giovanni Agnelli
26. Carlo Bourbon del Monte, 4th Principe di San Faustino
13. Donna Virginia Bourbon del Monte
27. Jane Allen Campbell
3. Margherita Agnelli
28. Nicola Caracciolo, 2nd Duca di Melito
14. Filippo Caracciolo, 8th Principe di Castagneto, 3rd Duca di Melito
29. Meralda Mele Barese
7. Donna Marella Caracciolo di Castagneto
30. Charles Corning Clarke
15. Margaret Clarke
31. Alice Chandler


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