The last farewell to Giuseppe Bono, the “great leader” of the state industry

To understand who Giuseppe Bono was, for many “Peppino”, for twenty years at the helm of Fincantieri and one of the most brilliant and well-known managers across the border in the panorama of Italian industry, it is perhaps necessary to start from the end of the ceremony with which he was bestowed the last farewell in the nave of the Basilica of Santa Maria degli Angeli e dei Martiri, in the heart of the capital. Because the moving messages, delivered by the Minister of Defense, Guido Crosetto – the first to give the news of his death in recent days – and by his two sons, Emanuela and Nicola, return the portrait of a respectable person: a loving and present father and grandfather in the memories of the family, manager with a sometimes rough character but with a very clear vision in the words of those who flocked to Rome today, Saturday 13 November, to pay him the right tribute.

A manager at the service of the state

In a packed church, Bono was thus able to bring together, in his absence, as his daughter Emanuela pointed out, more cards of a country than of a certain industry, such as that represented by the former CEO of Fincantieri, made up of concrete goals and wars won, he has often clung to the search for solid landing places. Even when politics abdicated its task of supporting and supporting its national champions. So Bono often found himself alone, but no less strong, leading his battles. Ever since, in 2002, he took over the reins of a practically deceased Fincantieri after his past militancy in Finmeccanica, in which he had entered in 1997, bringing with him the solid preparation he had previously built in the administrative and management control area at Fiat-Finmeccanica , then in Omeca (again the Fiat-Finmeccanica group and from 1968 Efim) and immediately after, from 1971 to 1993, in Efim.

The dream of European consolidation

But it is Fincantieri who consecrates the star. Because it is the shipbuilding group – which Bono treats and considers as a son – to represent the most important challenge in the career of this old-fashioned manager who has passed through many governments unscathed and who has always believed in the need to break the national barriers around companies in the defense to give life to that European-style consolidation which he considered the only solution to ensure an industrial future for Europe, increasingly threatened by the aggressive competition of the Asian giants. Also for this reason, in recent years, Bono had dedicated body and soul to the project of a possible integration with the French shipyards of Saint-Nazaire, in the belief that that wedding could represent the best viaticum towards the coveted consolidation.

The acquisition of the US shipyards among the great successes

But that dream, shattered against French resistance and Brussels’ short-sightedness, remained in the drawer. And this is perhaps one of the few great regrets of a career on the contrary always full of successes, such as the acquisition of the Marinette Marine shipyards in Wisconsin in 2008-2009 that build ships for the US Navy, or, more recently, the construction of the new Genoa Bridge together with WeBuild and Italferr in record time. An uncommon path, therefore, in which there was no shortage of awards. Like the many who in the hours following the disappearance overwhelmed the family, from the head of state Sergio Mattarella to the president Giorgia Meloni (who in Bono has always found a timely and careful reference), to the many exponents of politics. That even today, on the day of the funeral, they gathered in front of his coffin for the last farewell.

The greeting of “his” Fincantieri

The same greeting that “his” Fincantieri also wanted to offer him, with the current leaders (CEO Pierroberto Folgiero and President Claudio Graziano) – who called him “a great leader” in the message spread immediately after his death – , sitting in the front rows together with many company representatives. Which, at different levels, in these twenty years have contributed to building with Bono the undisputed leadership of this Made in Italy jewel. And who, a few months ago, on the occasion of an award given to him in Trieste, had celebrated the former CEO with a short video in which the main stages in the history of Bono-branded Fincantieri were immortalized, “the great boss” as the of him. A history full of successes that now the Folgiero-Graziano tandem will be able to fill with new, positive, developments.

The last farewell to Giuseppe Bono, the “great leader” of the state industry