Vittorio Colao

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Vittorio Colao
Minister for Technological Innovation and Digital Transition
In office
13 February 2021 – 22 October 2022
Prime MinisterMario Draghi
Preceded byPaola Pisano
Succeeded byOffice abolished
CEO of Vodafone
In office
July 2008 – October 2018
Preceded byArun Sarin
Succeeded byNick Read
Personal details
Born (1961-10-03) 3 October 1961 (age 61)
Brescia, Lombardy, Italy
SpouseMarried 1992
EducationBocconi University
Harvard University
Known forOmnitel Pronto Italia COO
RCS MediaGroup CEO
Vodafone CEO

Vittorio Amedeo Colao (born 3 October 1961) is an Italian manager who has been serving as Minister for Technological Innovation and Digital Transition in the government of Prime Minister Mario Draghi from 2021 to 2022.[1] From 2008 until 2018, he was the chief executive officer at Vodafone Group.[2]

Early life[edit]

The son of an officer in the Carabinieri, Colao was born in Brescia.[3] He received a business degree from Bocconi University and an MBA from the Harvard Business School.[4]

Career in the private sector[edit]

Colao started his career at investment bank Morgan Stanley in London.[5] He joined the Milan office of McKinsey & Co in 1986, where as a Partner he worked on media, telecommunications and industrial goods sectors and was responsible for office recruitment.[6]

In 1996 Colao joined Omnitel Pronto Italia, rising to chief operating officer before its take over to become Vodafone Italy. He became regional CEO, Southern Europe in 2001 and joined the main board in 2002. After missing out on the CEO's job, taken by his friend Arun Sarin, and having a purchase of a Bulgarian mobile company blocked, he left Vodafone for Italian publishing company RCS MediaGroup, where he became CEO in July 2004.[5][6]

After shareholder criticism of the publishing group's strategy and governance, he resigned from RCS MediaGroup following the company's board meeting in September,[7] rejoining Vodafone in October 2006 as CEO Europe and succeeding Sir Julian Horn-Smith as deputy CEO.[8]

Commenting to the Italian press in 2007 that he had no interest in taking the CEO's job at Telecom Italia,[9] Colao succeeded Vodafone CEO Arun Sarin on 29 July 2008.[2] During his time in office, Vodafone sold out of the United States with a $130 billion exit from a joint venture with Verizon[10] and bought the German and eastern European cable networks of Liberty Global for $18 billion (turning Vodafone into Europe's largest broadband provider).[11]

In May 2018, Colao announced that he would step down as Vodafone CEO effective October 2018, and was succeeded by the finance director Nick Read.[12] In July 2019, he became a special adviser of General Atlantic.[13]

Political career[edit]

In April 2020, Colao was appointed by the Italian government led by Giuseppe Conte as the leader of a special task force to handle the 'Phase 2' of the emergency for the COVID-19 pandemic.[14] He submitted a proposed plan in June 2020 that was largely ignored by the government.[15]

In February 2021, he was appointed Minister of Technological Innovation and Digital Transition in Mario Draghi's government.[15]

Other activities[edit]

Corporate boards[edit]

Non-profit organizations[edit]

Personal life[edit]

Colao has been married since 1992. His wife and two children reside with him in South Kensington, Greater London.[21] Colao is a reserve officer in the Carabinieri.[3][5]


  1. ^ Crispian Balmer (February 13, 2021), Italy's Draghi takes office, faces daunting challenges Reuters.
  2. ^ a b "Vodafone Announces New Chief Executive". Vodafone. 2008-05-27. Retrieved 2008-05-27..
  3. ^ a b Wearden, Graeme (2008-05-27). "Vittorio Colao: from Brescia to the top of Vodafone". The Guardian. Retrieved 2008-05-27.
  4. ^ "Vittorio Colao". 1 December 2014. {{cite journal}}: Cite journal requires |journal= (help)
  5. ^ a b c Lindsay, Robert (2008-05-27). "Who is Colao?". The Times. London. Retrieved 2008-05-27.
  6. ^ a b "Vittorio Colao (86-96 MIL) New CEO of RCS MediaGroup". McKinsey & Co. 2004-06-23. Retrieved 2008-05-27.
  7. ^ "RCS CEO resigns after shareholder criticisms". Forbes/AFX News. 2006-07-21. Retrieved 2008-05-27.[dead link]
  8. ^ "Vodafone Names Vittorio Colao European Region Ceo". Dow Jones. 2006-09-06. Retrieved 2008-05-27.
  9. ^ Blackden, Richard (2008-05-27). "Vittorio Colao fends off Vodafone competition". The Telegraph. Archived from the original on 2008-05-30. Retrieved 2008-05-27.
  10. ^ Paul Sandle, Kate Holton (May 15, 2018), End of an era as Vodafone boss Colao hands over to protege Read Reuters.
  11. ^ Toplensky, Rochelle (2019-05-07). "Vodafone strikes Telefónica deal as part of Liberty Global push". Financial Times. Retrieved 2022-10-24.
  12. ^ "Vodafone boss Vittorio Colao to step down". BBC News. Retrieved 2018-05-16.
  13. ^ Fildes, Nic (2019-07-08). "Vittorio Colao joins General Atlantic as special adviser". Financial Times. Retrieved 2022-10-24.
  14. ^ Zampano, Giada (2020-04-11). "Italy gov't extends coronavirus lockdown until May 3". Anadalu Agency. Retrieved 2020-04-11.
  15. ^ a b Morris, Anne (16 February 2021). "Colao appointed digital minister in Italy's new government". Retrieved 2022-10-24.
  16. ^ Vittorio Colao[permanent dead link] General Atlantic.
  17. ^ Board of Directors: Vittorio Colao Archived 2021-02-13 at the Wayback Machine Verizon.
  18. ^ "Vittorio Colao". Unilever global company website. Retrieved 2017-03-23.[additional citation(s) needed]
  19. ^ International Advisory Council Bocconi University.
  20. ^ PM meets European Round Table of Industrialists Government of the United Kingdom, press release of 1 November 2018.
  21. ^ The MT Interview: Vittorio Colao of Vodafone,

External links[edit]