Leopoldo Pirelli dead at 81

Wed, 01/24/2007 - 05:57

Leopoldo Pirelli, the patriarch of the family which created the Pirelli tyre company, died on Tuesday at his home in the resort seaside town of Portofino. He was 81.

The grandson of company founder Giovanni Battista Pirelli, Leopoldo spent his whole life working for the family comapny which he joined after taking a degree in mechanical engineering in 1950, at the age of 25. Hed took command of Pirelli in 1965.

Pirelli, who defined himself as a 'Calvanist who loves privacy', also served on the boards at Italy's industrial employer association Confindustria, the RAS insurance company and the influential merchant bank Mediobanca.

An avid sailor, Pirelli left the chair of the tyre and cable group in 1996 to his former son-in-law Marco Tronchetti Provera and retired, while remaining the company's honorary president.

He is survived by his daughter Cecilia and son Alberto