17. John Elkann

John Elkann
Age 45
Net worth $2,1bn
Source of wealth Ferrari, Fiat, Exor
Nationality American/Italian
F1 involvement Team shareholder

John Elkann is the grandson of the late Italian industrialist Gianni Agnelli, the principal shareholder in Fiat.

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Elkann was born in New York and educated in England, Brazil, France, and Italy, leaving him fluent in four languages.

Elkann is the chairman and CEO of Exor, the holding company of the Agnelli family, which owns stakes in Ferrari and Italian automaker Fiat.

Elkann took charge in 2004 after the death a year earlier of his grandfather Gianni.

He has been instrumental in the merger this year of Fiat Chrysler and the PSA group to create Stellantis, which he chairs.

Exor owns the Italian football team Juventus and media organizations, including The Economist and several leading Italian newspapers.

In July 2018, he was appointed chairman of Ferrari after the late Sergio Marchionne left due to health issues.

In December 2020, Elkann became Executive Chairman and temporary CEO after the departure of Louis Camilleri.

In June 2012 Italian Benedetto Vigna was appointed Ferrari CEO.

An interesting fact is Elkann is believed not to be that interested in motor racing, preferring the world of competitive yacht races.

He has competed in multiple transoceanic yacht races with racing yachts made by Maserati.

His involvement in F1 comes naturally through the Ferrari F1 team, where he has, amongst other decisions, appointed Mattia Binotto as team principal and fired Sebastian Vettel.

All is not well in the Ferrari camp, with Elkmann telling investors, “Our 2020 Formula 1 results reminded us that a great past doesn’t equate to a great present or future.

“This painful reality, both for ourselves and our fans, is that we must restart with humility, focusing on what will make us competitive and ultimately lead to winning.

“Today, Gianni would be disappointed as all we Ferrari fans are.

“But I am optimistic because we have two young drivers: they are not ‘used to winning’, but they have a great desire to ‘train to win’ with their humility and determination. They are infecting the whole team with this.”

Elkann is a clever and talented businessman credited with turning around the fortunes of Fiat when the company was in trouble due to the unreliability of its vehicles.

The Tifosi must be praying for history to repeat itself.

What influence does John Elkmann hold in F1?

There is a widely held view F1 needs Ferrari, something Bernie Ecclestone was a firm believer in. It led to Ferrari’s bonus payments and a right of veto in decision-making.

With Liberty Media, the balance may have altered as it is clear Ferrari needs Formula 1.

In Ferrari’s own words, “Formula 1 Racing allows us to promote and market our brand and technology to a global audience without resorting to traditional advertising activities, therefore preserving the aura of exclusivity around our brand and limiting the marketing costs that we, as a company operating in the luxury space, would otherwise incur.”

This ‘strong marketing advantage in the luxury performance car market’ is working with the new Ferrari 812 Competizione A already selling out its production run of 1598 cars at $600,000 a pop.

It is worth remembering Ferrari benefits from R&D by the F1 team to enhance their road cars and speed up development.

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