The holding company of the Agnelli family, which founded Fiat, confirmed the death Wednesday.
“Unfortunately, what we feared has come to pass. Sergio Marchionne, man and friend, is gone," John Elkann, chairman of FCA, said in a statement.
"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."
Named Fiat's chief executive in 2004, Marchionne had worked primarily in finance and non-automotive industries. But he rescued Chrysler from the brink of liquidation in 2009 with help from the U.S. and Canadian governments, and implemented an improbable turnaround plan that transformed the automaker into a global force.