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201010 Featured Member...Paolo Scaroni

Paolo Scaroni, CEO ENI


Paolo Scaroni

Paolo Scaroni, born on 28 November 1946 in Vicenza, Italy, is the chief executive officer of Italian energy company Eni SpA. In 1969, he graduated from Bocconi University of Milan in the field of economics and in 1973 he obtained an MBA from Columbia Business School.

After graduating from the business school, Paolo Scaroni was an associate at McKinsey & Company. In 1973, he joined Saint-Gobain, where he held different positions, culminating with his appointment as president of flat glass division. In 1985, he was appointed to the post of CEO of Techint.

On July 14th 1992, he was arrested with the charge of corruption. He had paid the PSI political party for contracts from Enel (the Italian main electricity company run with public funds). Later on, in 1996, he negotiated his penalty of 1 year and 4 months of jail. The judgement was from Milan's court.

From 1997 to 1999 he also was President of the Vicenza football team. In 1996, he moved to the United Kingdom to become Chief Executive Officer of Pilkington. From May 2002 to May 2005 he served as CEO of Enel, Italy's leading electricity company. At Enel, Scaroni made a real breakthrough by abandoning the traditional multi-utility corporate model, supported by his predecessor Franco Tatò, in favour of placing greater focus on the core energy business. Under his mandate, Enelcreated a separate Wind energy unit and the discontinued the roll out of the “Enel Sì” branded franchise. As a result of his achievements at Enel, in 2005 Paolo Scaroni took over the position of CEO of Eni, which in 2006 (even considering the high price of oil and the harsh winter) achieved record revenues and income.

It is quite clear that, at Eni, Paolo Scaroni intends to adopt a similar strategy as implemented at Enel: focusing on the core energy business (possibly involving, among others, the divestment of traditional petrochemical activities), greater integration between the company’s divisions and the strong entry into the power generation and distribution sector through aggressive consumer oriented marketing.

CEO Paolo Scaroni has never taken political positions supporting one particular party or coalition. He often emphasizes that Italy, unlike other countries in Europe, is a land of oil and gas, resources which are not valued enough, in his opinion, because of myopic political views and populist environmentalism.

Paolo Scaroni is a member of the board of the Columbia Business School and since November 2007 he has also been a member of the Légion d'honneur.

In November 2008, with reference to the Kyoto Protocol and the climate change package Paolo Scaroni claims: “We think that in the short term, with existing technologies and expertise, renewable sources, namely solar and wind, will represent only a small fraction of energy supply. For this reason, at Eni we invest in research, in particular in solar, and we are sure that only a revolutionary technological invention will create renewable resources that can significantly contribute to our energy needs.

Paolo Scaroni is Director of Assicurazioni Generali S.p.A., the London Stock Exchange, Veolia Environnement of France, the Columbia Business School of New York and the Fondazione Teatro alla Scala.