After clashing with Fiat Chrysler CEO Sergio Marchionne, Montezemolo put an end to his 23-year career, stepping down as Chairman of Ferrari, as Fiat head Sergio Marchionne steps into the role.

Luca Cordero di Montezemolo was appointed as President of Ferrari in 1991 by Fiat Chairman Gianni Agnelli after the company started to struggle finding its way forward following Enzo Ferrari's death in 1988.

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Montezemolo led Scuderia Ferrari since 1974 and justified Agnelli's decision by winning the Formula 1 Championship again nine years later after a 21-year cold streak, while turning Ferrari's road car division around and into a sale success. Scuderia Ferrari took five consecutive titles under driver Michael Schumacher while the brand's revenue went up 10-fold and sales more than tripled.

Yet with Ferrari's F1 team returning lackluster results in recent years and Marchionne clashing with Montezemolo on Ferrari's future strategy, this era in the company's history had to come to an end.

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Instead of keeping Montezemolo's annual production limit at 7,000 cars to retain Ferrari's exclusivity, Marchionne is planning to turn the prancing horse into a luxury brand that can compete more with Volkswagen AG's expanding Lamborghini in terms of sales growth and is more involved with Fiat Chrysler's products and technologies as opposed to being mostly independent as it is today.

Bloomberg reports Montezelomo's response was:

Ferrari is now American, which represents the end of an era.

Marchionne stated:

Discussions over Ferrari's future and its racing potential led to misunderstandings which became clearly visible over the last weekend. I want to thank Luca for all he has done for Fiat, for Ferrari and for me personally.

Photo credit: AP Images