Franco Debenedetti


Franco Debenedetti (Turin, 1933) has been a director of CIR since June 2020.

He was a director of CIR (before the merger with COFIDE) from 1976 to February 2020. 

He completed his studies at the Turin Politecnico, where he obtained a degree with full marks in Electro-technical Engineering in 1956 and specialized in Nuclear Engineering in 1957.

He worked for 35 years in big Italian companies taking leading roles, in particular, from 1959 to 1976 in the family company Compagnia Italiana Tubi Metallici Flessibili, which then became Gilardini, and from 1976 to 1994 in big multinational companies.

He embarked on his entrepreneurial activities as the head of production and development at Compagnia Italiana Tubi Metallici Flessibili (from 1959) and he subsequently became vice-chairman of Gilardini (from 1972).

He was the Director of the Components Segment at FIAT (1976-1978) and CEO of Olivetti (1978-1992). In particular, during his long period in charge of the Ivrea giant, he founded, chaired and oversaw the Stock Market listing of Teknecomp, a company that was subsequently sold to a major Italian industrial group, and Tecnost, the company that via a takeover acquired control of Telecom Italia. He also founded and chaired OIS-Olivetti Information Services, the most important private software company in Italy at the time.

In those years he continued to hold managerial roles in the family company, which had become CIR, in particular in Sogefi (filters) and Sasib (cigarette packaging and electric signaling), of which he was Chairman and CEO (1986-1994).

From 1994 to 2006, he was a Senator of the Italian Republic.

In 1996, the Club dell’Economia awarded him the Ezio Tarantelli prize for the best idea of 1995 in Economic and Finance.

He is Chairman of the Bruno Leoni Institute, board member of ISPI and of the Fondazione Rodolfo Debenedetti.

He is also a regular contributor to leading Italian daily newspapers. He is the author of ‘Sappia la destra’ (Baldini Castoldi, 2001), ‘La Guerra dei Trent’anni’ (Einaudi, 2009), ‘Scegliere i vincitori, salvare i perdenti’ (Marsilio, 2016) and ‘Fare profitti. Etica dell’impresa’ (Marsilio, 2021). He curated ‘Non basta dire no’ (Mondadori, 2002) and wrote prefaces for ‘Occidente contro occidente’ by A. Gluckmann, ‘Cartello a perdere’ curated by A. Mingardi, ‘Una storia operaia’ by R. Ruggeri, ‘Il mito virtuista’ by V. Pareto, ‘La mente servile’ by K. Monogue, ‘Bele sì (proprio qui) Ebrei ad Asti’ by M. L. Giribaldi – R.M. Sardi, ‘Les très riche heures de F.D.’.