June 23, 2024
Tribute to Roberto Colaninno, former CEO of Piaggio and a renowned figure in Italy's business world.

In memoriam: Roberto Colaninno , a strategic leader who reshaped Italy's industrial landscape and left a lasting impact on Piaggio.

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Roberto Colaninno:

The world of business recently bid farewell to a legendary figure, Roberto Colaninno. Known for his strategic acumen and transformative leadership, Colaninno left an indelible mark on Italy’s industrial landscape. As the CEO of Piaggio, Europe’s largest scooter and motorcycle manufacturer, he played a pivotal role in shaping the company’s trajectory and solidifying its global presence.

The Rise of a Dealmaker:

A series of strategic adjustments and risky decisions marked Colaninno’s ascent to the top echelons of the business world. His talent for organization was obvious early in his vocation when he took on the character of managing manager at Olivetti, a famous Italian builder of computers, printers, and other occupational machines. Though it was his bold $58 billion leveraged buyout of Telecom Italia in 1999 that hurled him into the world-wide spotlight, This change, the world’s major hostile overthrow at the time, not only confirmed his deal-making skill but also highlighted his readiness to take intended dangers.

Reviving Piaggio:

Colaninno shifted his focus to the Italian company Piaggio in the year 2003. Piaggio has an illustrious history that dates all the way back to 1884. Piaggio, the company that manufactured the legendary Vespa scooters, was having financial difficulties at the time. Roberto Colaninno, undeterred by the difficulties, set out on a mission to bring the company back from the brink of collapse. He implemented brand new processes and organizational structures, restructured the production lines, and extended business activities in Asia, particularly in India, China, and Vietnam. His efforts were rewarded, as Piaggio achieved record-breaking results in the first half of 2023 (July).

A Leader with a Human Touch:

Roberto Colaninno’s leadership style served as an example of how important respect for one’s workforce was to his management philosophy. During the period in which Piaggio was undergoing reorganization, he did not dismiss even a single member of the workforce. As an alternate explanation, he postulated that everyone working for the company was a link in the supply chain and entitled to a portion of the corporation’s successes. This strategy was successful in winning over the unions representing the employees of the firm, as well as in fostering a sense of togetherness and shared motivation among the workforce.

Legacy and Impact:

Despite his passing, Roberto Colaninno’s legacy continues to resonate within Italy’s industrial sector and beyond. His ability to turn around failing companies earned him widespread admiration, even as his strategies sometimes sparked controversy. The length of time he spent working at Piaggio is evidence of both his vision and his determination. Under his stewardship, Piaggio not only returned to profitability but also reinforced its status as a symbol of Italian excellence.


Lessons in entrepreneurship and leadership can be gleaned from Roberto Colaninno’s life and work if they are willing to put in the effort. His self-assurance, capacity for careful planning, and sense of responsibility toward his employees set him apart in the respectable world of occupational When we think about the charitable work he did, we are reminded of the influence that visionary leadership can have on organizations and the way in which enterprises are run.


Former Piaggio CEO and well-known Italian businessman Roberto Colaninno died recently. After starting at Olivetti, he became a global corporate leader in 1999 with his 58 billion dollar acquisition of Telecom Italia. He took on the tough task of turning around Vespas-maker Piaggio in 2003. He revitalized Piaggio by expanding its Asian operations and reaffirming his commitment to employees. He avoided layoffs despite the company’s restructure because he valued employees. Roberto Colaninno left a legacy of transformational leadership and business acumen.

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