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Chrysler begins charitable foundation honoring Marchionne

A Chrysler badge is pictured on a new car at a dealership in Vienna, Virginia April 26, 2012. REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque
A Chrysler badge is pictured on a new car at a dealership in Vienna, Virginia April 26, 2012. REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque

DETROIT (Reuters) - Chrysler Group LLC on Wednesday said it has begun a charitable foundation in the name of the company's chief executive, Sergio Marchionne.

The foundation will initially support the educational needs of the children of Chrysler employees. The first awards will be given in 2014.

Marchionne was already CEO of Italy's Fiat SpA in 2009 when Fiat took over management control of Chrysler as it came out of bankruptcy. Fiat now owns 58.5 percent of Chrysler.

"Creating this foundation is a fitting tribute to all that has been accomplished at Chrysler," said Ronald L. Thompson, lead director of the Chrysler Group board in a press statement.

Marchionne, in the same statement, said, "The action being proposed by the board of directors provides an opportunity to support important causes consistent with the values of Chrysler, with an initial focus on the educational needs and ambitions of our employees' children."

(Reporting By Bernie Woodall)

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