I am very far removed from it, but DiM certainly has a lot to be proud of, and those things do not come without managerial skills. Firstly he managed the F1 team in the Niki Lauda days and brought the team back to the front of the grid. Second, he transformed Ferrari from a poorly performing company in the early 1990's to an extremely succesful one in the space of about 8 years.
I do know there is a lot of criticism and I also agree that not everything he did has been great for Ferrari, but I think to call him a poor manager seems to give the man too few credits.Onno
Hi Onno, are you going to the Mille Miglia this year ?
About LdiM, here his brief history.
When a teenagers in Rome, he knows and establish a friendship with Cristiano Rattazzi, a nephew of Gianni Agnelli. Once obtained his universitary degree, he is immediatly sent in Ferrari, by direct Agnelli's orders. He is able in PR
and lucky and thanks to Forghieri and Lauda he wins a couple of F1 championships. This creates around him a winner aura which will never abandon him in the future.
He is brought closer to the center of the FIAT empire and becomes responsible of the institutional relationships and coordinates the political campaign of Umberto Agnelli, Gianni's brother.
He is then promoted to CEO of the newly created Itedi Group, which controls the newspaper of Torino ('La Stampa') and other editorial activities...and here he starts to show signs of his inadequacy.
He is accused to have accepted money to introduce a businessman of Torino to the Agnelli brothers. FIAT CEO's, Cesare Romiti, immediatly exiliated LdiM to a minor brand controlled by the Group: spumanti Cinzano. Besides, Gianni Agnelli makes the Democrazia Cristiana Party retire a candidature for LdiM to run for a seat in the Parliament.
After one full year there, to think about his sins, he is offered a chance to redeem himself: he is appointed Coordinator of the Committe which is organizing the football world champioship in Italy (Italia '90). The championship were poorly organized and many accessory infrastructures (metros, pools, roads, parking lots, etc. were readied long after the end of the championship). A few years after, a number of scandals related to bribes paid to the Committee members to favour specific companies for the related contracts.
Moved to the football realm, LdiM is back in the Fiat breast as President of the Juventus football club. He selected Gigi Maifredi as the trainer of the team. It was a disaster: 7th place in the champioship and no access to the following year's European Cups. In addition, he is involved in a story of "black funds" for a 4 billion Lire transfer to facilitate the arrival of a new player. At the end of the year LdiM is kicked out of the presidency of Juventus and placed at the head of the Rizzoli Corriere della Sera Video company.
It is an even bigger disaster. Because of a wrong investment in an US production company, the Carolco, there was a several hundred billion Lire loss. The loss is so serious that the Rizzoli Video company fails.
Because of those brilliant performances, he is sent back as President and CEO of the Ferrari, in 1991 !
During one of the first technical meetings with his staff, he says that the Ferrari 348 is a 'merda', because in Rome, driving his own 348, he was humiliated by a guy driving a Golf GTI...
He is then taken by hand by a number of senior managers in Ferrari, who limits his gaffes and temperamental decisions.
After the successful Schumi-Brawn-Todt years, in 2004 he is rewarded with the Presidency of Fiat and of the Confindustria, the powerful Italian association of the industrialists (the first and so far unique case of a non-industrialist to cover that role...). His presidency of Confindustria is known as one the worst ever...
A new brilliant initiative is the fast train NTV-Italo one, where he is one of the founder of the new company, heavily subsidized also with public money. After two years in operations, the Company collected 250 million Euro of losses...
I could add many other information on the way he is in the Board of so many companies and banks that even three Montezemolos would have issues partecipating in all the sessions, or how it was involved in scandals with Bisignani, a powerful 'dark' wizard of relationships with everybody, for anything (and involved with the secret masonic net known as P4), and the strange way Bisignani's son was hired by Ferrari as the new Head of the Press Office, replacing Colajanni, etc. but I will stop here.