Umberto Agnelli

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Umberto Agnelli
Umberto Agnelli en Dante Giacosa (1970).jpg
Umberto Agnelli (l.) and Dante Giacosa (1970)
Born (1934-11-01)1 November 1934
Switzerland Lausanne, Switzerland
Died 27 May 2004(2004-05-27) (aged 69)
Piedmont, Italy
Nationality Italy Italian
Occupation Head of Fiat and Juventus
Spouse(s) donna Antonella Bechi Piaggio (divorced)
donna Allegra Caracciolo di Castagneto
Children Giovanni Alberto Agnelli
Andrea Agnelli
Anna Agnelli
Parents Edoardo Agnelli
Virginia Bourbon del Monte

Umberto Agnelli (1 November 1934 – 27 May 2004) was an Italian industrialist and politician. He was the third son of Virginia Agnelli (born Donna Virginia Bourbon del Monte) and of Edoardo Agnelli, and whence he was the youngest brother of Gianni Agnelli.

He served as a CEO of Italian carmaker Fiat from 1970 to 1976[1] and, on the death of his brother Gianni, was briefly chairman of the FIAT Group, 2003-2004, until his own death, aged 69, the following year. He was also chairman and later honorary chairman of Juventus, the football team long-associated with FIAT and the Agnelli family, and was for a time the president of the Italian Football Association. He was a senator of the Italian Republic, from 1976 to 1979.

Career[edit]

Agnelli was chairman of FIAT-controlled Juventus football club 1956–61 and was honorary chairman 1970–2004.

Agnelli was chairman of Fiat France 1965–80, chief executive officer of Fiat SpA 1970–76 and vice-president 1976–93. He was chairman of Fiat Auto 1980–90 and a member of International Advisory Board 1993–2004.

Though he was a senior executive in the family company, Fiat, he was sidelined from taking a leadership role by his brother Gianni until the latter's death in 2003. Only then did he take over as chairman of the whole Fiat Group, 2003-2004. The Group controlled several Italian newspapers and publishers in addition to the FIAT car-firms and Juventus football club.

Umberto was in the process of restoring Fiat's fortunes, following a period in which the company's balance sheet, market share and share value had all been in decline, when he suddenly died of lung cancer after barely 18 months in control. Despite this, Forbes magazine estimated he was the world's 68th richest man with an approximate net worth of US$5.5 billion. He was a member of the Steering Committee of the Bilderberg Group.[2]

Family[edit]

Agnelli was born in Lausanne, Switzerland, the youngest of seven children. His life was beset by an unusual amount of tragedy and bereavement.

His father was Edoardo Agnelli, who died in an air crash when he was just a year old, and he was orphaned when his mother Virginia also died early, in a car-accident when he was still only 11.

In 1959 Agnelli married the heiress Donna Antonella Bechi Piaggio, from the well-known business-family of Piaggio. They had three sons but their first, twin boys, died shortly after birth.

The third son, Giovanni Alberto Agnelli, grew up to be the head of the maternal family-firm Piaggio, and was being groomed to succeed at Fiat, but died of cancer at the age of 33 in 1997. The son was survived by a wife, Avery Agnelli, née Howe, and a daughter, Virginia Asia Agnelli.

Umberto and Antonella Agnelli later divorced, and in 1974 Umberto married Donna Allegra Caracciolo di Castagneto. Allegra is the first cousin of Umberto's sister in law Marella Caracciolo di Castagneto, the wife of his brother Giovanni (Gianni). The ladies come from the old Neapolitan noble family that has, among other, the titles of nobility of Prince of Castagneto and Duke of Melito.

Umberto and Allegra had two children, a son named Andrea born in 1975, and a daughter Anna born in 1977. Andrea later followed in his father's footsteps by becoming chairman of Juventus, in 2010.

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ "Umberto Agnelli". news.independent.co.uk (London). 29 May 2004. Retrieved 2007-12-31. 
  2. ^ "Former Steering Committee Members". bilderbergmeetings.org. Bilderberg Group. Retrieved 2014-02-08. 

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