My friend, Jake French, Introduced my to Roni Sasaki. She does interviews with people like Jake who have gone through the unimaginable but have come back with a strong purpose. Although my experience is VERY different, Jake thought that it would be of interest to her listeners. After listening, please tell me your impression??
An automotive outsider groomed as an accountant and financial officer, Marchionne engineered the merger of Fiat and Chrysler in 2009. By the time he was replaced as CEO by Jeep chief Mike Manley in a hastily called board meeting Saturday, Marchionne had revived the fortunes of both companies as a growing, international conglomerate encompassing 10 brands under the corporate umbrella Fiat Chrysler Automobiles LLC.
“His unbelievable turnaround left Fiat so much healthier than when he found it,” says Jeremy Acevedo, manager of industry analysis for Edmunds. “He’ll be remembered as one of the early 21st-century’s great auto leaders along with Alan Mulally and Elon Musk.”
The holding company of Fiat’s founders, the Agnelli family, announced in a statement of Marchionne’s death due to complications from surgery in Zurich.
“Unfortunately what we feared has come to pass,” Fiat heir John Elkann said. “Sergio Marchionne, man and friend, is gone. I believe that the best way to honor his memory is to build on the legacy he left us, continuing to develop the human values of responsibility and openness of which he was the most ardent champion.”
Bill Ford, executive chairman of Ford Motor Company, said Marchionne was an admired industry leader.
“Sergio Marchionne was one of the most respected leaders in the industry whose creativity and bold determination helped to restore Chrysler to financial health and grow Fiat Chrysler into a profitable global automaker,” he said in a statement. “His extraordinary leadership, candor and passion for the industry will be missed by everyone who knew him.”
Noted for a minimalist wardrobe that seemed limited to a closet full of black sweaters, Marchionne was as colorful as his sartorial taste was monochromatic.
“He was well-known for his business prowess as well as his disdain for suits and neckties,” says Rebecca Lindland, senior auto analyst at Kelley Blue Book.
Never shy with a quip, the profane, funny, driven CEO bucked industry trends and questioned industry traditions.
He famously said of the Fiat 500e, a poor-selling electric vehicle sold in California to meet the state’s zero-emission mandates: “I hope you don’t buy it, because every time I sell one it costs me $14,000. I’m honest enough to tell you that.”
He was reticent to invest in electric vehicles at a time when competitors like General Motors Co. were rushing them to market. “Better late than sorry,” he said in 2016.
Yet, Fiat Chrysler was the first major automaker to announce a partnership with Google’s Waymo subsidiary to put hybrid, self-driving minivans on the road.
Critical of the industry business model to build lookalike, compact four-cylinder sedans, he publicly courted other automakers — most notably GM — to merge and build common automobiles to save costs. No competitor took him up on the offer.
A quick study
Marchionne’s family crossed the Atlantic from Italy to Toronto, Canada, in 1965 when Sergio was 13 years old.
After graduating from the University of Toronto with a degree in philosophy, the ambitious Italian-Canadian citizen added a bachelor of commerce degree and MBA from the University of Windsor, and a law degree from York University in Toronto.
He spent the 1990s working in financial positions with a series of international corporations culminating in his first chief executive appointment at Swiss aluminum company Algroup in 1997. In 2002 he became CEO of Geneva’s SGS, a Forbes Fortune 2000 company that works with companies to assure products meet regulatory standards.
Two years later, the Agnelli family, which holds a controlling interest in Fiat, plucked him from Switzerland to become CEO despite Marchionne’s lack of auto industry experience. He would prove a quick study and a shrewd judge of talent.
But Marchionne’s signature move was acquiring crippled Chrysler out of bankruptcy in 2009 for no cash down and commitments to the U.S. government to meet a series of sales, engineering and technology goals in return for a controlling interest in the company.
Key to that promise was bringing Fiat’s know-how to develop a 40-mpg vehicle for Chrysler. Marchione accomplished the feat with the fuel-efficient 2013 Dodge Dart. But Marchionne had his eyes on a bigger prize: unlocking the international potential of Chrysler’s Jeep brand at a time when consumers were moving toward SUVs.
“He saw the pendulum swinging away from cars and towards SUVs,” says Edmunds’ Acevedo, who notes that Maserati and Alfa Romeo also expanded their SUV offerings under Sergio’s watch. “He had the grit to make the hard decisions.”
Also upon assuming control of Chrysler, Marchionne spun off Ram from Dodge as a stand-alone truck brand, remade Dodge as a performance icon and re-introduced Alfa Romeo to the U.S. as a luxury automaker.
“He understood the legacy of a brand like Jeep, but at the same time he could bring back an old brand like Alfa,” says KBB’s Lindland. “He had the discipline of an accountant and the creativity of an entrepreneur.”
Marchionne’s tenure was not untouched by trouble.
Seven people have pleaded guilty in a widening corruption scandal involving Fiat Chrysler and the United Auto Workers union. Federal prosecutors describe a pattern of company officials funneling illegal payments to UAW leaders through a joint training center. The case already has ensnared former Fiat Chrysler executive Alphons Iacobelli and Monica-Morgan Holiefield, widow of former UAW Vice President General Holiefield.
Federal prosecutors say the automaker conspired with the UAW from before 2009 through 2015 to violate the Labor Management Relations Act. The law prohibits employers or those working for them from paying, lending or delivering money or other valuables to officers or employees of labor organizations — and from labor leaders from accepting such items. Prosecutors allege that Iacobelli and at least four other unnamed Fiat Chrysler officials were funneling more than $1.5 million worth of illegal payments to UAW officials.
Marchionne was questioned during a private meeting in July 2016 with the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Detroit, sources familiar with the investigation said. He was escorted to the meeting by his white-collar criminal-defense lawyer. Marchionne had not been charged with a crime during the ongoing federal grand jury investigation.
The automaker also faced allegations it cheated on pollution testing for diesel engines.
In May 2017, Fiat Chrysler said it would modify around 104,000 diesel vehicles after the U.S. Justice Department sued the the automaker, accusing it of illegally using software in diesel-powered Jeep Grand Cherokees and Ram 1500 pickups sold since 2014 to mask true pollution levels during testing. Court filings in May 2018 cited emails that diesel engine subsidiary VM Motori knew as early as 2010 that an auxiliary emissions control device would be illegal if concealed from regulators.
Marchionne’s bold plans were laid out in public five-year plans beginning in 2010 with the CEO and his team telegraphing their product moves in the normally secretive auto industry.
The ambitious plans sometimes fell short, yet Marchionne would reboot five years later with another five-year salvo.
“He was a very plain-spoken person,” says Lindland. “He was a risk-taker but also able to motivate his team to take those risks with him.”
Fiat Chrysler got an infusion of cash by spinning off Ferrari in 2015 in an IPO valued at over $12 billion. With its 9 percent stake in the prancing horse, Chrysler made off with nearly $1 billion. By the end of 2017, Fiat Chrysler’s net profit had doubled over the previous year with the company predicting its profits would outrun Ford by the end of 2018.
Presiding over a final four-year-old plan in Milan in June, Marchionne celebrated the impending elimination of the company’s industrial debt by ditching his signature sweater for a tie. He also laid plans to turn over a company radically different from the one he had inherited 13 years earlier — its namesake Fiat and Chrysler brands a shadow of their former selves, and American and luxury SUVs carrying the sales load.
“He has left FCA in a good place,” says analyst Lindland. “It will be interesting to see if Manley and his executive team can protect his legacy. Can they execute his five-year plan?”
She added: “They have large sweaters to fill.”
Henry Payne is auto critic for The Detroit News. Find him at email@example.com or Twitter @HenryEPayne.
If you’re a man and you suffer from heart disease or diabetes, stress at work may shorten your life, a new study finds.
The researchers said a demanding job in which you have little or no control over your work environment is a formula that can increase the risk of dying early whether you suffer from heart disease or not. But that risk jumps 68 percent for men with heart disease or diabetes, the investigators found.
“These findings suggest that working very hard might not be a good idea for people with a serious cardiometabolic disease, such as those with diabetes, coronary heart disease or a history of stroke,” said lead researcher Mika Kivimaki, chair of social epidemiology at University College London.
Physiological stress response is a normal reaction to a challenge in work and private life, but can involve a number of changes that might affect heart function, clotting and plaque in blood vessels, he explained.
“These changes, in turn, can trigger a fatal heart attack or stroke,” Kivimaki added. And work-related stress may be particularly harmful for men with diabetes or a history of heart attack or stroke, he said.
“We found the stress-mortality link in men but not in women, which is consistent with the fact that atherosclerosis [hardening of the arteries] is more common in working-aged men than women,” Kivimaki noted.
Dr. Satjit Bhusri, a cardiologist at Lenox Hill Hospital in New York City, said the mind has a direct link to the heart. “There is a mind-heart loop, which can affect your heart,” he said.
Bhusri believes that reducing work stress can reduce the risk to the heart. But reducing work stress might mean quitting a stressful job, he noted.
“I’ve had patients who have retired or quit their job,” Bhusri said. “What you have to realize is that your job is a slice of the whole pie of your life. And without a life, there are no slices,” he said.
To reduce stress, Bhusri promotes mediation, yoga and exercise. “More importantly, if it’s the job that’s toxic, get rid of the job,” he advised.
For the study, Kivimaki and his colleagues collected data on more than 100,000 men and women from Finland, France, Sweden and the United Kingdom, including more than 3,400 who had heart disease and diabetes. At the start of the study (between 1985 and 2002), participants completed a questionnaire on their lifestyle and health.
Over an average of nearly 14 years, the researchers tracked participants’ medical records. During that time, more than 3,800 individuals died.
The investigators looked at two types of work stress: job strain — having high work demands and little control over them; and effort-reward imbalance — putting in lots of effort, but getting little reward.
After Kivimaki’s team took into account socioeconomic status and some lifestyle factors — including high blood pressure, high cholesterol, smoking, obesity, physical inactivity and high alcohol consumption — it found that men with heart disease or diabetes who had job strain had a 68 percent greater risk of premature death than men who had no job strain.
This increased risk was seen in men who were being treated and had achieved their blood pressure and cholesterol targets. The risk was also seen in men with a healthy lifestyle, including being of normal weight, being physically active, not smoking and not drinking heavily.
No association was seen, however, between a risk for premature death and effort-reward imbalance in men with heart disease or diabetes. The study did not prove a cause-and-effect link between the two.
Neither type of work stress was linked with an increased risk of dying among healthy or unhealthy women, the findings showed.
Stress may affect the body in several ways, including changing natural responses to stress through higher levels of the stress hormone cortisol, which increases glucose production and limits the effect of insulin, thereby worsening diabetes, the study authors said.
In addition, stress can increase inflammation that can raise blood pressure and affect clotting, thus increasing the risk of heart problems in people who already have hardening of the arteries.
Because the researchers measured stress only at the start of the study, they could not take into account changes in the severity of diseases over time. They also did not take into account blood pressure or cholesterol levels in all the participants, which might lead to an overestimation of the effect of job strain.
In addition, people with more severe disease tended to work fewer hours, which might explain why no association between effort-reward imbalance and risk of premature death in men with heart disease or diabetes was seen, the researchers said.
The report was published online June 5 in the journal The Lancet Diabetes & Endocrinology.
A response to a person new to caregiving, trying to figure out what to do while at the same time, grieving what has been lost.
I have been the caregiver to my husband for 10 years.In those early years, I regularly reminded myself who he had been before the stroke–vibrant, sharp, fun, funny, successful–all things that the stroke took away from him.It was important for me to remember those things and treat him like that person, not as a victim or an invalid.Even though he was terribly disabled, our interaction was always about working toward a new normal that valued a good man.
One thing that really helped us was setting goals together.Setting goals allowed us to look forward and move forward.Yes, I took care of his needs, but working together on recovery and a useful life was essential. We got excited each day to see what he could do.We did not focus on what we lost.We focused on the new life we were creating.It wasn’t easy.We also had kids at home who needed mom and dad.I like to think one day they will reflect on those years and know what love and commitment really look like.
My husband deserved the best I had to give.In return, he gives his best.I hope you, the team, and your friend can rally and help him create a meaningful life.It isn’t easy but it is worth doing.Good luck.
The same medication used to save lives by reversing opioid overdoses may also benefit nonopioid users. In a new study done in rats, the medicine, called naloxone, was shown to help the brain to recover from a stroke.
Researchers found that when male rats were treated for one week with naloxone after having an ischemic stroke, they had an improved recovery, compared with rats who did not receive naloxone. (An ischemic strokeoccurs when blood flow to the brain is interrupted, usually because of a blood clot, which deprives the brain of oxygen and damages nerve cells in the area.) [Strange Stroke Stories: Ebola, Hickeys and Other Weird Causes]
Because the study was done in rats, more research is needed to confirm the findings in people. However, naloxone might play a role in stroke recovery because the drug has anti-inflammatory properties and can reduce the activity of the microglia, which are the primary immune cells of the brain, according to the study findings, published today (April 16) in the journal eNeuro
Previous research has shown that naloxone affects the microglia, which are very active contributors to the inflammation that occurs in the brain following a stroke, said study co-author Brandon Harvey, a researcher at the National Institute on Drug Abuse in Baltimore. So, in this study, the researchers wanted to see whether giving naloxone after a stroke could decrease the activity of the brain’s immune cells and reduce the associated inflammation, leading to improved recovery from the stroke, he said.
Improved stroke recovery
In the new study, the researchers gave 65 male rats naloxone twice a day through the nose at a dose considered to be safe in humans. (Naloxone is often given as a nasal spray to reverse an overdose, according to the study.) The study showed that the drug was most effective when treatment was started within 16 to 36 hours after a stroke and lasted for seven days.
The findings showed that when naloxone was given after a stroke, during a period when immune-cell activity in the brain was peaking, it had beneficial effects on recovery, said study co-author Mikko Airavaara, principal investigator at the Institute of Biotechnology at the University of Helsinki in Finland. (Immune cells in the rats’ brains were active as early as two days after a stroke and reached their peak activity seven days after a stroke, according to the findings.)
Airavaara said that naloxone works reducing inflammation in the brainand reducing the loss of nerve cells, which can improve the brain’s ability to recover after a stroke.
These findings are important because there is no drug treatment now that helps the brain recover after a stroke, Airavaara told Live Science. So, developing a drug therapy that could promote recovery for the 10 million people worldwide who have strokes each year would be groundbreaking, he said.
Indeed, because naloxone has been used to treat opioid overdoses for nearly 50 years, the idea of repurposing the drug for stroke is intriguing, Harvey said.
It would be important to establish that the drug’s beneficial effects would work not only in male rats but in female rats as well, Harvey told Live Science.
The current study was able to establish an effective delivery method for the drug — through the nose, which is one of the methods already used to reverse opioid overdose — and a suggested dosing pattern (when to give the drug) to possibly translate these findings into clinical practice in the future, Harvey said.
Daniel Lackland, a professor of epidemiology in the neurology department at the Medical University of South Carolina in Charleston, who was not involved in the new research, said that there is a need to identify other treatments for stroke recovery. Currently, rehabilitation includes physical-, occupational- and speech-therapy programs; however, treatments that target physiological changes in the brain are lacking, he said.
In addition, recovering from a stroke has not had the same success rates as recovering from heart disease, said Lackland, who is a spokesperson for the American Stroke Association.
This study explored the possibility that a new drug may contribute to stroke recovery, and this drug appears to have some benefits in animals, Lackland told Live Science. Though the findings need to be replicated in additional animal studies, these results give hope for the future of possible trials in humans, he said.
Did you ever think that you would meet someone who has to go by to different rules? That is the way I am…and anybody who has comeback after a life changing event.
I received an email from someone I met while my wife was speaking to a small group at ClubSport. The person who wrote this note, was just a ClubSport member who came to listen to my wife speak about all that SHE has been through as a result from my stroke. Who knew that this person would go thru a similar situation as me! When I received the email, I was impressed with what she wrote:
Congratulations on throwing a frisbee and releasing it. I heard your presentation several years ago at Club Sport. I have an autographed copy of your book and I have received your blog. In November of 2016. I had a massive brain bleed and my left side was paralyzed. I spent time at a nursing home experienced c-diff, blood clots, then made it to Rio, finally when I got home my balance wasn’t good and fell and broke the neck of my femur. I appreciate Jill telling you to stay in your chair?. Through it all your fighting spirit has been an encouragement. Where would we be without our friends and family of faith?!
I have come along way on this road and rereading your book last month I could understand and be even more impressed by your journey.
Thank you for sharing. All the best to both of you!
It is emails like this one that keeps me going. In times of despair, or moments that I don’t see myself as getting any better, a note like this one comes along and it makes me feel I am doing the right thing. Nothing happens unless you try!
And you know what? She was a delight to deal with! She still had some struggles, but she was determined to get better. Meeting someone like that is so invigorating to me.
PHILADELPHIA (WTXF) – A different type of treatment is giving new hope for people recovering from a stroke with hyperbaric therapy.
Doctors in the Philadelphia area are studying it and our Joyce Evans spoke to the first patient in the new clinical trials. To see video, press Here
49-year-old Mike Dooley suffered a stroke during heart surgery a little more than a year ago. He was placed into an induced coma for weeks.
“It is a shocking thing to wake up and be paralyzed,” Mike explained, “I lost 100 pounds of weight and was very sick – near death.”
The athletic 8th grade science teacher, football and wrestling coach kept fighting. His family, friends, and neighbors continued to cheer him on.
Like so many others, Mike needed rehabilitation beyond what his health insurance covered. He maxed out on physical therapy and his homecare and transportation to and from doctors and sessions were out of pocket.
His sister Noreen set up a GoFundMe page and found an unusual study about to startup nearby, at the Wound Healing Center of Abington Jefferson Health.
Mike became patient number one in trials that combined hyperbaric therapy with physical rehab.
“Oh I would do anything, I would light my head on fire if I thought it would help me get better,” Mike said.
Mike underwent 30 90-minute treatments in six weeks inside a pressurized chamber filled with 100% oxygen at twice our atmospheric pressure.
“And it sits at the tissue delivering almost 1,000 times more oxygen for up to 18 hours after the treatment,” said Dr. Rob Jubelirer, “We do see improvement — for weeks and months after the treatment.”
Dr. Jubelirer says it’s still a slow process but the hope is to one day make hyperbaric therapy standard treatment along with physical rehab to heal damage caused by a stroke faster and maybe even better.
“I’m looking down a tunnel and there’s light there now at the end of it,” Mike said.
Holy cow; it has been 10 years since I had my stroke.
Thinking back, my future looked bright:
I was finally earning good money, starting to save for college, saving for retirement, putting savings into my HSA. Things were starting to click. Then BAM…the stroke hit me. My goals…gone. My life…changed. My future…unknown. I really didn’t think of the effect the stroke would have.
In the beginning, I lost my ability to use my right side. My wife was able to stay home with me and work on my recovery. My thinking was that I would be working is 6 months. How wrong I was!
With help from my wife, we worked through a few different options.
First, I wanted to get back into my business of consulting telemarketing reps. This was tough for me because I couldn’t talk. We both realized this in a few months. I still can’t believe Jill stayed with me though the terrible six months when I was feeling that I could talk; I couldn’t get out more than a sentence. Not good for a sales consultant!
Then I decided to work with Scott Olsen. Scott was a trainer and we both had similar clients. I would help him build his pipeline and offering the telesales training as a supplement to his training. We got off to a great start. Soon, I realized, that they were actually buying Jill…not me. I still couldn’t talk!
In the meantime, Jill prepared a speech for me that I wanted to deliver to my friends who got me thought these tough years. After 6 months of writing (for Jill) …and another 8 months of daily practice (for me), I was able to deliver my speech…1 time…to my audience.
Not being able to talk was my biggest challenge. Even now, after feeling confident that I had a great conversation, I cringe with how terrible I sound when I play back the recording. How could I sound so great…in my head…and turn into sounding so bad.
It is what it is. Thank god for my disability income. I don’t know where I be without the little steam of money coming in each month.
There is ONE thing that DOES bother me: the loss of my car and the ability to drive:
New treatment offers hope for better stroke recovery. Spatial neglect often occurs after damage to the right side of the brain, making it difficult for stroke survivors to see things on their left.
Eating food from only the right side of the plate, shaving or applying make-up to only one side of the face, and running into objects on the left are common traits post stroke and for some survivors current therapies aren’t working.
University of Queensland researchers are leading a world-first project that might help overcome disability that can affect many everyday activities for stroke survivors.
“The neuropsychological condition – called spatial neglect – often occurs after damage to the right hemisphere of the brain, making it difficult for stroke survivors to pay attention to the left side of space,” Associate Professor Carroll said.
“Up to 85 per cent of right hemisphere stroke survivors have reduced ability to attend to the left side of space, which can affect many activities.
“A person might fail to eat the food on the left half of their plate, and they might only shave or apply make-up to the left side of their face.
“They may collide with objects or structures such as door frames on their left.
“At present there is no satisfactory treatment for people with spatial neglect.”
One current treatment involves reaching towards visual targets while wearing spectacles containing prisms that shift the entire field of view towards the right.
To reach accurately while wearing the prism spectacles, people with spatial neglect must learn to reach targets on their neglected side.
Dr Carroll said the treatment’s effectiveness varied dramatically for different patients; ranging from long-lasting functional improvement after a single session to no benefit at all.
“We are testing a new approach, in which we use a robot to physically push the person’s hand to one side while they are reaching, instead of using prisms to distort vision,” he said.
“We hope to show that learning to move straight when the robot pushes the hand to one side will help people with neglect to better orient attention to the left side of space.
“This will help us to better understand the links between attention and movement after stroke, and may lead to new rehabilitation approaches for stroke survivors with attention deficits in the future.”
Stroke Foundation figures show that more than 475,000 Australians were living with the effects of stroke in 2017, with this number predicted to rise to one million by 2050.
The UQ researchers are looking for stroke survivors with damage to the right hemisphere to participate in a single two-hour testing session at UQ’s St Lucia campus in Brisbane.
Volunteers must be able to sit in a stable position for an hour, have no significant vision impairments (normal spectacles are fine), and be able to effectively reach to objects with their right arm.
Those interested in participating should email Dr Carroll on firstname.lastname@example.org, or call UQ’s School of Human Movement and Nutrition Sciences on +61 7 3365 6240.