Alberto Pirelli

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Person.png Alberto Pirelli  Rdf-entity.pngRdf-icon.png
(businessman, deep state actor)
Alberto Pirelli.jpg
Alberto Pirelli in 1929
Died1971 (Age 88)
Alma materUniversity of Genoa
ParentsGiovanni Battista Pirelli
ChildrenLeopoldo Pirelli
Interests • rubber
• tires
Italian businessman who attended the first Bilderberg and 7 others up to 1963.

Alberto Pirelli was an Italian businessman who ran the family empire, the multinational Pirelli tyre and cable manufacturing company.

He attended every Bilderberg meeting from the first in 1954 until 1960, and in 1963. His son, and successor, Leopoldo Pirelli, also attended several Bilderbergs.

Early life

Alberto Pirelli, second son of Giovanni Battista Pirelli, founder of the homonymous company based in Milan, continued the family business with his older brother Piero, also taking an interest in the development process of the nascent Italian industry. After graduating from the Liceo Classico Giuseppe Parini in Milan, he attended courses in engineering, economics and law, graduating in law in 1904 at the University of Genoa In the same years, at the suggestion of his father, he also attended some courses at the Regio Istituto Tecnico Superiore (later Politecnico di Milano) and the Luigi Bocconi Commercial University, in order to gain knowledge and skills in economics, mechanics and industrial accounting.[1]

In December 1904 Alberto Pirelli and his brother Piero were appointed co-directors by the shareholders' meeting of Pirelli & Co., with powers and responsibilities equal to those of their father. At the heart of the decision to make the sons join in the management of the company is the objective of exploiting the opportunities for growth and international expansion that are emerging, thanks to the great global development of the rubber industry, in particular in the electrical cables and tires sector. The two brothers soon consolidated a precise division of operational tasks, which entrusted Piero with the weight of the management of the company, of which in 1927 he redrawn the corporate structure, and Alberto the relations with the government institutions, the ministerial apparatus and the management of international relations.[1]

Expansion of the trading network

Alberto Pirelli - in close union with his brother, a discreet behind-the-scenes director, is the protagonist of the phase of strong international expansion that the company knows in the years following his appointment as director. Aware of the difficulties of penetration of foreign markets, also due to competition from large German and American companies, Pirelli works first of all for a strengthening of the commercial network, replacing the original organization based on agents with the creation of commercial branches, later transformed into autonomous companies. The second step is the construction of new production facilities abroad, an objective that Pirelli pursues by forging a series of alliances with local companies. They especially expand in Great Britain and Argentina.[1]

Behind the scenes of economic policy

With the end of the First World War, in parallel with the consolidation of the international presence and the reorganization of foreign holdings, Pirelli aims to strengthen the position of the leading Italian manufacturer held by the company in the cable sector, through the acquisition of shareholdings in electric and telephone companies.

The years between the two wars also represent for Pirelli the period of the most intense participation in Italian and international public and political life. After a first experience at the High Commission for the liquidation of the Ministries of Arms, Ammunition and Aeronautics, where he was called in November 1918 by Ettore Conti to deal with relations with the Allied powers, Pirelli participated, now as a "technician", now in the most demanding role of "delegate", in the most important economic negotiations that took place after the First World War – from the Paris Peace Conference (1919), the Dawes Committee (1924), the London Conference (1924), to the Young Committee (1929), which regulated German war indemnities. From 1920 to 1922 he also represented Italy in the International Labour Office in Geneva and subsequently, from 1923 to 1927, in the Economic Committee of the League of Nations. On behalf of the Italian Government, between 1926 and 1928 he oversaw the organization of the Institute for Export, of which he also became the first president. He is one of the founders of the Institute of International Political Studies (ISPI), whose presidency he held from 1934 to 1967. Among the most important positions he held in these years is also that of Italian representative at the International Chamber of Commerce of which he was president from 1927 to 1929.[1]

Close personal relationship with Mussolini

His intense diplomatic activity was one of the factors that contributed to increase the prestige of Pirelli and the his influence in Italian political and financial circles; this status was also recognized by Mussolini, who appointed him Minister plenipotentiary in 1924 and, subsequently, Minister of State in 1938 (an honorary position that was to pave the way for his appointment as Senator). In the first years after the March on Rome he maintained a very cautious position to the new government. In 1925, after the Matteotti assassination, he was part of the delegation of entrepreneurs who presented himself to Mussolini to demand respect for trade union freedoms and, like many others, did not join the National Fascist Party until 1932. Alberto Pirelli was also strongly opposed to Italy's entry into the war on the side of Nazi Germany, but nevertheless remained loyal to Italy even after the start of hostilities.[2]

However, from the early twenties a close personal relationship was created between Mussolini and Alberto Pirelli.[1]

The esteem that Mussolini has for the technical and diplomatic skills of the Milanese entrepreneur is evidenced by the delicate missions abroad that are entrusted to him. The consideration he enjoyed with Mussolini, together with the wide consensus that he received in industrial circles, allowed Pirelli to cover continuously for the entire Fascist twenty years the position of president of Assonime and to perform functions of mediation between the government and industrialists in times of greatest difficulty, as evidenced by his appointment as commissioner of the General Fascist Confederation of Industry, which took place in January 1934, on the occasion of the launch of the corporative reform.[1]

Relations with the government remained friendly throughout the second half of the thirties, a period during which Pirelli Co. experienced a growing and continuous production recovery, favored by the policy of economic self-reliance. Thanks to the numerous war orders following the Ethiopian War and the intervention in the Spanish Civil War, the company reaches and exceeds the production levels touched before the great crisis.[1]

Pirelli's dissent against the government became explicit after Italy's entry into World War II and became concrete with direct participation in diplomatic maneuvers aimed at entering into peace negotiations with the Anglo-Americans[1]

After World War 2

In July 1945 Pirelli, like other Italian industrialists, was purged and removed from his position as CEO of Pirelli Co. In April 1946, following an appeal, he was fully rehabilitated and could resume, together with his brother Piero, his place at the helm of the company.[1]

In the following years Pirelli took on an attitude of less open political participation than in the period before the war, refusing several times requests for participation in commissions and ministerial bodies of the new republic.

He did however attend every Bilderberg meeting from 1954 until 1960, and in 1963.

After the death of his brother in 1956, the entrepreneur began a process of generational succession, entrusting his son Leopoldo with the positions of CEO and vice president. Three years later, in 1959, suffering from a stroke that caused paresis of the right side of his body, Pirelli ceded the remaining operational responsibilities to his son. He died in Casciago (Varese) in the autumn of 1971.[1]


Events Participated in

Bilderberg/195429 May 195431 May 1954Netherlands
Hotel Bilderberg
The first Bilderberg meeting, attended by 68 men from Europe and the US, including 20 businessmen, 25 politicians, 5 financiers & 4 academics.
Bilderberg/1955 March18 March 195520 March 1955France
The second Bilderberg meeting, held in France. Just 42 guests, fewer than any other.
Bilderberg/1955 September23 September 195525 September 1955Germany
The third Bilderberg, in West Germany. The subject of a report by Der Spiegel which inspired a heavy blackout of subsequent meetings.
Bilderberg/195611 May 195613 May 1956Denmark
The 4th Bilderberg meeting, with 147 guests, in contrast to the generally smaller meetings of the 1950s. Has two Bilderberg meetings in the years before and after
Bilderberg/1957 October4 October 19576 October 1957Italy
The 6th Bilderberg meeting, the latest ever in the year and the first one in Italy.
Bilderberg/195813 September 195815 September 1958Buxton
The 7th Bilderberg and the first one in the UK. 72 guests
Bilderberg/196028 May 196029 May 1960Switzerland
The 9th such meeting and the first one in Switzerland. 61 participants + 4 "in attendance". The meeting report contains a press statement, 4 sentences long.
Bilderberg/196329 March 196331 March 1963France
Hotel Martinez
The 12th Bilderberg meeting and the second one in France.
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