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Investing Answers Building and Protecting Your Wealth through Education Publisher of The Next Banks That Could Fail

Vittorio Mincato

What it is:

Vittorio Mincato was the former CEO of Italian oil and gas company Eni.

How it works (Example):

Born in 1936, Mincato is an accountant on paper. His first any only employer was Italian oil and gas company Eni, where he rose through the ranks starting in the company's textile division in 1957. In 1993, he became deputy chairman and CEO; in 1998 he became chairman and CEO.

The Italian government, which began privatizing certain industries in the late 1990s, made efforts to get him to resign in 2000 in an attempt to get more control over the company (it still owned 35% of Eni at that point). The government failed after the board protested.

Why it Matters:

One of Mincato's most notable achievments at Eni was his leadership during privatization in Italy. He focused on core operations and divested noncore businesses. Through alliances and joint ventures, he leveraged the company's expertise in oil and gas.

Because Eni had a near monopoly over the Italian oil and gas market before privatization, Mincato also faced the daunting task of securing a profitable business model, selling oil to Croatia and Greece, and going into the electricity business. Mincato took the CEO post at a time when oil prices were very low and the Italian government's efforts to privatize the oil industry threatened profits even more. Despite that, Mincato helped transform Eni into one of the world's largest oil corporations. In 2005, he retired.