DEFINITION of 'Vittorio Mincato'

Vittorio Mincato is a former chief operating officer (CEO) of Eni, an Italian oil and gas company. During his tenure as CEO from 1998 to 2005, he moved the company forward, overseeing its first acquisitions of foreign companies (Britain-based Borneo and Lasmo) and helping it to become the one of the world's largest oil corporations.

BREAKING DOWN 'Vittorio Mincato'

Vittorio Mincato was born in 1936 in Torrebelvicino, Italy. An accountant by training, he spent his entire professional career at Eni, joining the firm in 1957.

For 20 years, Mincato worked for Lanerossi, Eni's textile division, eventually rising to the position of director of administration and finance. He returned to the parent company in 1977 to serve as director of administration; from 1984 until 1988 he served as assistant to the chairman. Mincato moved to the post of director of human resources in 1989, then from 1990 to 1993 served as the chairman and CEO of Eni's textile-machinery company Savio; at the same time he served as the chairman of Enichem Agricoltura, Eni's fertilizer subsidiary. Mincato helped to privatize both Savio and Enichem Agricoltura. From 1993 to 1995 he held the position of deputy chairman and CEO of Enichem, Eni's petrochemical subsidiary. He then ascended to the chairmanship of Enichem, where he focused on restructuring and privatization for the next three years, until he was tapped to become CEO of Eni itself in late 1998.

Accomplishments as CEO

Mincato took over at a particularly difficult time for the company: International oil prices were low, and the looming deregulation of the Italian gas market, which Eni had monopolized for years, further threatened profits. And at first, times were difficult for him too: He survived power struggles with Eni board chairman Renato Ruggiero and with the Italian government itself (which owned 35% of the company).
Mincato's plans for the company included international expansion and a globalization of its culture. To that end, he purchased the relatively small British companies Borneo and Lasmo; he also installed an Irishman to head Saipem, Eni's oil-services subsidiary. He also bought reserves around the world, including in Iran and Russia.
In addition, he focused on core operations and divested non-core businesses. By the time he retired in 2005, succeeded by Paolo Scaroni, Eni had a presence in 77 countries, and its activities include oil and gas exploration, production, transportation, transformation and marketing; petrochemicals; oilfield services construction; and engineering.
Mincato was awarded an honorary degree by the Milan Polytechnic Institute in 2003.

Life after Eni

Mincato became a member of several boards of directors after 2005, including those of Fiat, the Fonazione Teatro alla Scala, and the Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia. He joined the Italian Council for Economy and Labor, and vice chairman of the Unione Industriali Roma.
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