Carlo De Benedetti: Another Point of View

4 Pages Posted: 30 May 2017

See all articles by Patrick Rene Levy

Patrick Rene Levy

University of Virginia - Darden School of Business

Alexander Horniman

University of Virginia - Darden School of Business

Abstract

This case details the life and business of Carlo de Benedetti, a European businessman.

Excerpt

UVA-E-0091

CARLO de BENEDETTI: ANOTHER POINT OF VIEW SWAT

Leslie completed first read.

As a former business journalist of a French magazine, the equivalent of Business Week, I covered the high tech industry. Carlo de Benedetti was among the people with whom I met and often spoke. Through the years, I followed his company (among others) quite often.

Like all people who try to “manipulate” the media to serve their purpose, Benedetti stuck to a very strict communication policy. In France, where he was targeting individual share buyers, it was very important for him to speak to a broader audience rather than just the business community. As a result, Benedetti reserved his interviews for news magazines rather than business publications—even the news journalists had a tough time getting an appointment with him. Martine Leventer, whose article in Le Point (the equivalent of Newsweek) is quoted in this case, told me it took two years to achieve her goal of interviewing Benedetti. Due to his policy, I never formally interviewed him. I only met him on the occasion of numerous press conferences, during which I was fortunate to have small conversations with him. Some people considered my knowledge of his company sufficient enough to participate in writing a book about his fascinating personality. The project never took off. One of the publishers we contacted was about to release a French translation of an Italian book about Benedetti. There was, obviously, no room in the market for two books about the man.

Developing a personal understanding of Benedetti's actions as a businessman as well as his style were the most interesting aspects of my coverage of Benedetti's company. To understand his strategy, one must understand his conception of business. He really thought a CEO could not be effective unless he took personal risks. This is the reason why he always invested all of his money in the companies with which he was involved. Such was the case with Fiat as well as with Olivetti.

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Keywords: communication process, communication strategy

Suggested Citation

Levy, Patrick Rene and Horniman, Alexander, Carlo De Benedetti: Another Point of View. Darden Case No. UVA-E-0091, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2974114

Patrick Rene Levy

University of Virginia - Darden School of Business

P.O. Box 6550
Charlottesville, VA 22906-6550
United States

Alexander Horniman (Contact Author)

University of Virginia - Darden School of Business ( email )

P.O. Box 6550
Charlottesville, VA 22906-6550
United States

HOME PAGE: http://www.darden.virginia.edu/html/direc_detail.aspx?styleid=2&id=4329

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