Draghi Government: Vittorio Colao, the British manager who can finally implement his Plan

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BARCELONA, CATALONIA, SPAIN – 2018/02/26: Vittorio Colao, Vodafone Group CEO on stage during his speech at the Key note Nº 1 of Barcelona Mobile World Congress. (Photo by Paco Freire/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images)

Many will interpret this as some kind of compensation. Compensation for the mammoth Plan that Vittorio Colao, the new Minister of Innovation and Digital Transition, produced last spring to imagine and design the Italy that had to emerge stronger and more resistant from the pandemic. A 121-page plan made in a workmanlike manner – together with a team of experts gathered in a special Commission – which, however, was never taken into consideration by the then Prime Minister Conte, who had also appointed him. The plan, we said, was in fact soon put in a drawer, not even browsed when the draft of the Recovery Plan was drawn up. Perhaps because at a certain point in the Roman palaces there was talk of a Colao government that should really have replaced the executive led by the Apulian lawyer. So it is better to avoid giving too much visibility to ideas that, although good, could end up costing the chair to those who were then firmly in Palazzo Chigi.

A setback for the manager who lives in London, who was not remedied even by the invitation to the States General, even if in public his attitude was nothing short of elegant. In fact, Colao has abandoned himself at most to note the obvious: “ABeyond phone calls with various ministers, informal chat, there was no official follow-up between the commission that drafted the plan and the government“. A jab against Conte, of course, but in a very British style.

After all, Colao is one of those managers who grew up and trained in the Anglo-Saxon world. He began his career in London, at the Morgan Stanley investment bank and continued in Milan at the multinational consultancy McKinsey & company – the one that produced i cosiddetti “McKinsey boys” which include top managers of the level of Passera, Profumo and Scaroni just to name a few. In 1996 Colao became general manager of Omnitel Italia and, when in 1996 Vodafone acquired the mobile telephone operator, he became CEO of the Italian division. In 2001 he became CEO of Vodafone for Southern Europe; the following year he joined the board of directors and in 2003 he extended his office also to the Middle East and Africa. In 2004 he left the telephony giant to move to RCS, always with the position of CEO. After two years, however, in 2006, he returned to Vodafone to take the position of deputy chief executive officer of the Europe division. From 2008 to 2018 he was CEO of Vodafone. In short, for ten years in a row the boss.

A curriculum that speaks for itself and that is a guarantee for what it is called to do: to bring Italy out of the digital Middle Ages in which it finds itself and bring it back at least to European levels. The first two steps can be found in his forgotten Plan: bringing fiber everywhere and developing 5G. In other words, his goal is to give the maximum connection to Italians, aware of the fact that there is no turning back from the digital revolution and the sooner you adapt, the better. The reference in this case is above all to the public sector, which is far behind the private sector in terms of skills and training of personnel. In fact, from this point of view, like Draghi, has a Schumpeterian vision of innovation: a creative force of destruction, which on the one hand burns jobs but on the other creates them. It all lies in accompanying companies and workers in this transformation. In an interview with the sheet he was very clear about it: “Today it is necessary to give economic aid, tools, information, training for a more digitalized future. It is necessary to understand how to manage and how to accompany the unemployed. It is a great theme. However, I remain optimistic. This is an opportunity to bring work back where there is little. We are sailing in difficult waters but we have a duty to mitigate the cost of the transition ”. Digital transition, in fact.

Source: Huffington Post Italy Athena2 by www.huffingtonpost.it.

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