Luca Cordero di Montezemolo, who stepped down from the Chairmanship of Ferrari last month because the company had become "too American," has been lined up to take the Chairman job at Italian airline Alitalia after it merges with Abu Dhabi-based outfit Etihad Airways.

Alitalia is in need of an image boost, and they reckon the former Ferrari Chariman is the man to get it done. "Montezemolo is well recognized in business circles worldwide so having him as chairman is definitely a success and will help build a strong brand image," Bicocca University Transport Analyst Andrea Giuricin told Reuters.

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Current Etihad Airways CEO James Hogan will be Montezemolo's deputy. He's the one who once called Alitalia "the sexiest airline in Europe," and is apparently hot to revitalize the brand alongside the former Ferrari boss; who's an Italian icon in his own right.

Reuters says Montezemolo was being considered a candidate for the Alitalia job as soon as the airline's last CEO Gabriele Del Torchio said he'd step down in September. Alitalia Executive Silvano Cassano is keeping the seat warm as the merger becomes finalized.

"From a business point of view, having someone like Hogan, who has proven himself in the airlines sector, is definitely a plus and shows Alitalia is serious about wanting to restructure the carrier," said Giuricin in the rest of her comments to Reuters.

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We'll soon see if he can get the "tricolore" airline as fired up as Ferrari was under his leadership.

Image by the author, graphics via AP and Mark Harkin/Flickr