All posts filed under: Executive Profile

Executive Profile: Orietta Varnelli, COO Distilleria Varnelli S.p.A.

Since 1988, Orietta Varnelli has been one of the owner operators of Distilleria Varnelli S.p.A.. In 2011, she became the president of ActionAid Italia. In 2015 she was named one of 3 women among the 13 senior directors of the Banca d’Italia. Today, she is my companion for lunch. I’m wondering what lessons women in public companies can learn from women executives in family owned businesses. Family Owned Business Family run businesses are Italy’s economic engine. As in the US, about 85% of all companies in Italy are family-0wned. Unlike the US where family-owned business contribute 64% to GDP, in Italy they contribute 94% of GDP. Varnelli has been family-owned and operated since its founding in 1868. Which led me to wonder, is executive leadership different in family-owned businesses? Over Our 5 Hour Lunch! Much of  lunch was spent discussing the anise culture, but sandwiched (pun intended) between the cocktails & aperitivi, multiple courses & bottles of wine, we did discuss leadership and women in leadership. Grounded in Values Once an aspiring architect, Orietta’s life …