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Luca Cordero di Montezemolo (born August 31, 1947) is an Italianmarker businessman and Chairman of Ferrarimarker and Fiatmarker. He was also president of Italian Confindustria from 2004 to 2008 and of FIEG. He comes from an old aristocratic family of the Italian region of Piedmont. His net worth is estimated at $400 million.

Biography

Ancestry and Family Background

Born in Bologna, he is the younger son of Massimo Cordero dei Marchesi di Montezemolo (1920-2009), a Piemontese 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 Royal Italian Navy in WWII. 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. His title is not actually Marchese (or Marquis) but Nobile dei Marchesi di Montezemolo (Noble of the House of the Marquis of Montezemolo). This indicates that he descended from a Marchese but isn't one himself. His surname is actually "Cordero di Montezemolo" so it is not correct to call him "di Montezemolo". The correct usage is either the full surname or just Montezemolo to be concise.

Career

Montezemolo drove briefly for the famous unique and privately owned Lancia rally team known as HF Squadra Corse. He joined the auto manufacturing giant and conglomerate FIAT S.p.A. which is headquartered in Torino, Italy. However in 1973 FIAT moved him to Ferrari, where he promptly became Enzo Ferrari's assistant and, in 1974, manager of the Scuderia. In 1975, Montezemolo was promoted out of Ferrari to be head of all FIAT racing activities, and in 1977 he advanced to become a senior manager of FIAT.

Throughout the 1980s, Montezemolo occupied a number of positions in the huge FIAT empire, including managing director of the Cinzano drinks company and director of the Itedi publishing company. In 1982 he managed the entry of the Azzurra yacht in the America's Cup, the first Italian yacht to enter the event. In 1985, he became manager of the committee which planned and put on the 1990 World Cup Italia.

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

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

On May 27, 2004, Montezemolo became president of Italian business lobby Confindustria; days later, following the death of Umberto Agnelli on May 28, he was elected chairman of FIATmarker, Ferrari's mother company. Since 20 December 2004, he has also been president of the LUISSmarker ("Libera Università Internazionale degli Studi Sociali Guido Carli", Italian for "Guido Carli Free International University for Social Studies"). He is vice-president of Bologna Football Club.

Montezemolo became involved in the controversy surrounding the 2005 United States Grand Prix when, on June 2, 2005, he condemned the FIA's requirement that a single set of tyre must last the full length of a race, blaming the circumstances which caused the disastrous race on the new rule rather than on Michelin, with whom Ferrari had formerly done business.

Montezemolo has often been linked to a career in Italian politics, most recently the office of Prime Minister, but has always denied the rumours.

On the 29th of July 2008, Montezemolo founded the Formula One Teams Association (FOTA) which he now presides. The Committee meets on a regular basis to discuss improvements to Formula One.

Style

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

References



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