Childhood & Early Life
Flavio Cattaneo was born on June 27, 1963, in Rho, Italy. After he graduated high school, he decided to become an architect and enrolled at the ‘Politecnico University,’ where he studied architecture. He moved to Milan, and by the time he graduated from the university, he had already made up his mind about studying business.
Soon, he joined the ‘Bocconi School of Management’ and studied business finance and management. Following his graduation from the business school, he began working immediately.
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At the beginning of his career, toward the late 1980s, he got his first job at a small building and real-estate company. The experience he gained there helped him join many Italian companies from the same sector over the next few years. He worked in the real-estate sector until 1998. The same year, he began a new career in the energy sector.
One of the first energy companies that he joined was ‘AEM S.p.A,’ which is currently known as ‘A2A,’ where he worked as a deputy chairman. He was responsible for the company’s gas distribution activities in the Northeastern parts of Italy. He also served as the CEO of ‘Triveneta Gas S.p.A’ and ‘Seneca Gas S.p.A.’
In 1999, he took yet another big plunge when he joined ‘Fiera Milani Milano S.p.A’ as its CEO and chairman. The company is one of the largest exhibition groups in Italy. He also oversaw the listing of the company on the Italian stock exchange. Before the initial public offerings of the company’s shares, he ensured that the marketing activities of the company were spread across 30 countries.
In 2003, he got a huge break when he was appointed as the GD of ‘RAI’ (‘Radiotelevisione italiana’), the national public broadcast company of Italy. It was a huge break for Flavio, as he became the youngest managing director in the history of the company. He proved himself well, as the company registered its highest profits ever, the year following Flavio’s appointment as the GD.
He worked in the company for the next 2 years and resigned in 2005. Following this, he joined the Brazilian subsidiary company ‘TERNA Partecipacoes,’ a private electricity grid operator, as the chairman. Under his tenure as the chairman of ‘Terna S.p.A,’ it became the first private grid operator company in Brazil.
He had joined ‘Terna’ in 2005, and ever since he became its CEO, he made elaborate plans to take the business outside. During his tenure, he took on the South American and Balkan markets, thus doubling the stock value of the company.
Apart from taking ‘Terna’ to towering heights, he also served as a member of the board of directors of many companies, such as ‘Cementir Holding,’ ‘Generali Assicurazioni,’ and ‘Domus Italia.’
In February 2015, he became the CEO of the first Italian railway operator private company, ‘NTV’ (‘Nuovo Trasporto Viaggiatori’). The company specialized in super-fast trains, and since Flavio joined the company as its CEO in 2015, the company reached a positive net income for the first time since its inception. Flavio resigned in 2016.
The same year, he joined ‘Telecom Italia’ as its CEO. As soon as he took over, the company’s fate turned around. The company managed to increase its customer base and revenues at its fastest rate in 10 years. The company soon became the leader of telecommunications services in Italy and managed to cover 70 percent of the country with its fiber network.
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Apart from focusing on the organization’s responsibilities, in order to expand its business in Italy and South American countries, Flavio works toward conceding and implementing financial, industrial, and strategic plans. His work made him famous as one of the most successful Italian business minds of the present times.
In the second and the third quarters of 2016, the company registered huge profits and a significant increase in the domestic business unit revenue, consolidated returns, and EBITDA (earnings before interest, tax, depreciation, and amortization).
In September 2017, he returned to ‘Italo-NTV’ as its CEO and took the bold decision of selling ‘Italo’ to ‘Global Infrastructure Partners’ (GIP).
Since December 2018, he has been working as the executive deputy chairman and the chairman of the executive committee of ‘Italo-NTV.’
Awards & Honors
Flavio Cattaneo has been one of the most renowned figures in the Italian business world. His work as a top-level manager in major Italian firms has helped him win many national and international awards.
He was nominated as the ‘Best Italian Manager’ (2010) and the ‘Man of the Year’ (2011) by the Italian newspaper ‘Staffetta Quotidiana.’
His work toward the turnaround of ‘Telecom Italia’ resulted in him being named the ‘Manager of the Year’ by the magazine ‘Milano-Finanza.’
He has also been a recipient of the ‘Knight of Labour.’