Franceso Gori steps down from Pirelli
Pirelli’s Dr Francesco Gori is stepping down from his position as the company’s chief operation officer. The announcement follows continued speculation as to the future of Dr Gori, which began with newspaper reports that he was leaving to take up a new position outside of the tyre business. A terse statement confirming the news simply stated the fact that Gori is subject to a three-year non-competition clause and that “the company expresses its appreciation to Francesco Gori for the significant contribution to the Group’s results and development made in 33 years of service.” No details were given as to exactly when this decision takes effect.
Commenting on the news financial analysts at Morgan Stanley wrote: “We think this increases execution risks at Pirelli, given the extremely high internal and external profile, industry knowledge and track record.” They also remarked that the fact Pirelli did not clarify the reasons for his departure and exactly who will take his place is “puzzling.” The analysts also remarked that Pirelli shares did not sell off when the news was officially announced to investors today (10 May) indicating stability despite the personnel change.
One explanation for Dr Gori’s departure is that Pirelli CEO Marco Tronchetti-Provera has “regained personal focus and commitment to Pirelli Tyre” since 2009. Morgan Stanley surmised that this change was likely to have already been in plans since November 2011, when Pirelli announced its latest Industrial Plan “and leaves little doubt that Gori’s departure is no news for Pirelli people.” On a personal level there are likely to be many within Pirelli who will miss his vast contribution and down-to-earth approach to people.
Dr Gori was born in Florence on 15 May 1952. He graduated magna cum laude in Economics from Università degli Studi in Florence. After two years experience in a software house, he entered the Pirelli Group in 1978.
His first years were spent in sales departments both in the Italian domestic and export markets. He was then appointed product manager in 1982 in the motorcycle tyre division, and later country manager for Northern European markets in 1986, covering then also Middle East and Far East export markets from 1988.
In 1990 he was appointed business manager, car tyres; in 1991director of product planning and strategy, tyre sector. In 1993 he was appointed tyre marketing director and in 1997 director of business development. Then, in 1999, he was promoted to sales and marketing director. In 2001 Gori was appointed general manager of Pirelli tyre sector. Effective 1 July 2006, he became chief executive officer of Pirelli Tyre.
In October 2006, Francesco Gori was elected president of the newly constituted ETRMA – European Tyre & Rubber Manufacturers Association – and, in 2008, re-elected for a further three years.