Luca Cordero di Montezemolo

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Luca Cordero di Montezemolo
Fiat Luca cordero di Montezemolo.jpg
Luca Cordero di Montezemolo
Born (1947-08-31) 31 August 1947 (age 67)
Bologna, Italy
Nationality Italy Italian
Alma mater Sapienza University
Columbia University
Occupation Businessman
Known for Former President of Ferrari S.p.A
Former Chairman of Fiat S.p.A.

Luca Cordero di Montezemolo (Italian pronunciation: [ˈluːka korˈdɛːro di montedˈdzɛːmolo]; born 31 August 1947) is an Italian businessman, former Chairman of Ferrari, and formerly Chairman of Fiat S.p.A. and President of Confindustria and FIEG. He comes from an aristocratic family from the region of Piedmont in Italy. First he graduated in law from La Sapienza University in 1971. Afterward, he studied for a masters in International commercial law at Columbia University in the City of New York.[1] He is one of the founders and former president of NTV, an Italian company which is Europe's first private open access operator of 300 km/h (186 mph) high-speed trains.[2]

In 2009, Montezemolo founded Future Italy, a free market think tank that joined Civic Choice in the 2013 parliamentary election.

Biography[edit]

Ancestry and Family Background[edit]

Born in Bologna, Italy, he is the youngest son of Massimo Cordero dei Marchesi di Montezemolo (1920–2009), a Piedmontese aristocrat whose family served the Royal House of Savoy for generations, and Clotilde Neri (b. 1922), niece of famed Italian surgeon Vincenzo Neri. His uncle, Admiral Giorgio Cordero dei Marchesi di Montezemolo (1918–1986) was a commander in the Regia Marina in World War II. His grandfather, Mario (1888–1960) and great-grandfather Carlo (1858–1943) were both Generals in the Italian Army. He is also a cousin of Andrea Cordero Lanza di Montezemolo, who became a cardinal in 2006 and whose father, colonel Giuseppe Cordero di Montezemolo, was killed by the occupation troops Nazis during the massacre of the Fosse Ardeatine in Rome in 1944. His surname is actually "Cordero di Montezemolo" and the correct usage is either the full surname or just Montezemolo (omitting the "di").[3]

Career[edit]

Di Montezemolo's sporting career began at the wheel of a Giannini Fiat 500 which he raced together with his friend Cristiano Rattazzi. Later, di Montezemolo briefly drove for the famous privately owned Lancia rally team known as HF Squadra Corse. He joined the auto manufacturing conglomerate FIAT S.p.A., headquartered in Torino, Italy, and in 1973 was moved to Ferrari, where he became Enzo Ferrari's assistant and, in 1974, manager of the Scuderia. During his involvement with the team, Ferrari won the Formula One World Championship with Niki Lauda in 1975 and 1977. In 1976 di Montezemolo was promoted to become head of all FIAT racing activities, and in 1977 he advanced to become a senior manager of FIAT.

Throughout the 1980s, di Montezemolo occupied a number of positions in the FIAT empire, including managing director of the drinks company Cinzano and director of the publishing company Itedi. In 1982, he managed America's Cup challenge of Team Azzurra, the first Italian yacht club to enter the event. In 1985, he became manager of the Organizing Committee for 1990 World Cup Italia.

In November 1991, FIAT Chairman Gianni Agnelli appointed di Montezemolo president of Ferrari, which had been struggling since Enzo Ferrari's death. Di Montezemolo made it his personal goal to win the Formula One World Constructors' Championship once again. Di Montezemolo quickly made changes at the Italian team, signing up Niki Lauda as consultant and promoting Claudio Lombardi to team manager role.[4] During the 1990s he resurrected the Ferrari road car business from heavy debts into solid profit. He also took on the presidency of Maserati when Ferrari acquired it in 1997, until 2005.

Under Cordero di Montezemolo and executive director Jean Todt, the Ferrari Formula One team won the World Drivers Championship in 2000, the first time since 1979. The previous year, 1999, they had won the constructors' championship for the first time since 1983.

On 27 May 2004, di Montezemolo became president of Italian business lobby Confindustria. Days later, following the death of Umberto Agnelli on 28 May, he was elected chairman of Fiat S.p.A., Ferrari's parent company. Since 20 December 2004, he has also been president of the LUISS, the Free International University for Social Studies Guido Carli in Rome.

Di Montezemolo has often been reported to have aspirations of a career in Italian politics, most recently the office of Prime Minister, but has always denied the rumours.[5]

On 29 July 2008, di Montezemolo founded the Formula One Teams Association (FOTA) which he presided over from 2008–2010, eventually being replaced by McLaren CEO Martin Whitmarsh. The Committee used to meet on a regular basis to discuss improvements to Formula One. FOTA was formally dissolved in 2014.

In April 2010, John Elkann replaced di Montezemolo as Chairman of Fiat S.p.A.[6]

On 10 September 2014, di Montezemolo resigned as president and chairman of Ferrari following increasing tension with his would-be successor, FIAT Chrysler CEO, Sergio Marchionne.[7]

Style[edit]

Montezemolo is widely regarded as a stylish, classic dresser. He is most often seen in public in dark suits (often double-breasted) in navy or gray, dark ties, and light-colored shirts. While not as flamboyant as Gianni Agnelli, he seems to have been inspired by his former boss and sometimes displays sprezzatura in his attire.

Awards[edit]

Awards and achievements
Preceded by
Jacques Villeneuve
Lorenzo Bandini Trophy
1997
Succeeded by
Giancarlo Fisichella

References[edit]

  1. ^ The Wall Street Journal http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424053111903927204576574544264598296.html |url= missing title (help). 
  2. ^ Murray Hughes (2008-09-01). "NTV targets 20% market share by 2015". Railway Gazette International. 
  3. ^ "Arms of Roberto Cordero di Montezemolo, Noble of the Marquises of Montezemolo". 
  4. ^ Zapelloni, Umberto (April 2004). Formula Ferrari. Hodder & Stoughton. p. 17. ISBN 0-340-83471-4. 
  5. ^ "di Montezemolo says no to a political career". GrandPrix.com. Inside F1. 2007-06-01. Retrieved 2007-06-01. 
  6. ^ "Fiat taps Elkann as chairman, revives auto unit spin off". The Economic Times. 21 April 2010. Retrieved 11 September 2014. 
  7. ^ "Montezemolo resigned". GrandPrix.com. Inside F1. 2014-09-10. Retrieved 2014-09-10. 

External links[edit]