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-- Born in 1948 in Milan to an entrepreneurial family.
-- Education: MBA from Bocconi University, Milan.
-- Started his career managing the family energy business 1973-1986.
-- Joined Pirelli in 1978 after marrying Cecilia Pirelli, daughter of Pirelli Chairman Leopoldo. Appointed chairman in 1996.
-- With the Benetton family, grabs control of Telecom Italia from Olivetti's Roberto Colaninno on July 30.
-- He's a regular at La Scala and matches of soccer club Inter Milan, in which Pirelli holds a 13% stake.
-- Has three children but is now divorced. Companion is Algerian ex-model Afef.
Data: BusinessWeek, company reports