He is the son of Margherita Agnelli and the French journalist Alain Elkann and grandson of Gianni Agnelli. His brother Lapo is an entrepreneur and fashion designer.
Elkann, called Jaki, is considered the successor of his grandfather Gianni on the square of the head of the Agnelli family. He is currently President of the Fiat Group and President or Vice-Chairman of the Investment Companies Exor and IFIL that manage the assets of the family.
John Elkann was born in New York. After his parents divorced in 1981, he spent his childhood with his mother between Britain, France and Brazil. His high school, he laid in 1994 at Liceo Victor Duruy in Paris from 2000, he graduated in Industrial Engineering at the University of Turin Politecnico di Torino from.
After the son of Gianni Agnelli's brother Umberto, Giovanni Alberto Agnelli, who died in 1997 with only 33 years from a rare form of cancer, John Elkann was chosen in its place as a future head of the Agnelli clan and appointed to the board of the Fiat group. Already during his studies, he worked in various companies of the Fiat Group, including in the UK, Poland and France.
In his professional career started John Elkann in 2001 at General Electric, where he worked as a member of the Corporate Audit Staff in Asia, the U.S. and Europe. From 2003 he worked on the realignment of the Fiat Group for IFIL. After the death of his uncle Umberto it was established in 2004 under the new president Luca Cordero di Montezemolo, Vice President of the Fiat Group. In February 2006, John Elkann was appointed Vice President of IFIL, in April 2007, he became president of the Istituto Finanziario Industriale ( IFI).
John Elkann became President of the Fiat board of directors on 20 April 2010 and thus became the successor of Luca Montezemolo.
John Elkann is married to Lavinia Borromeo since 2004. Together the two have two sons.