Gabriele del Torchio Leaving Ducati for Alitalia?

04/15/2013 @ 12:58 pm, by Jensen Beeler7 COMMENTS


I thought I could hold onto this one over the weekend, but I guess I was wrong. Asphalt & Rubber, along with several other publications it would seem, have gotten news that Gabriele del Torchio, CEO of Ducati Motor Holding, could be leaving the company for a position with Italian airline Alitalia.

Still an unconfirmed rumor at this point, Del Torchio’s move would mark the end to a major chapter in Ducati’s history, as the Bologna company has flurished under the Italian’s command. Though this transition that has been hinted at since Audi AG bought Ducati Motor Holding from Investindustrial, the news perhaps isn’t surprising, but it does raise some interesting question marks for the future.

For starters, Alitalia is run by Roberto Colaninno, the same man at the helm of the Piaggio Group, which makes for some interesting intra-industry intrigue. Though it would be interesting to see Del Torchio’s game plan at work at the beleaguered brands of Aprilia and Moto Guzzi, his talents do seem better fit to the challenges Alitalia currently faces.

Should Del Torchio leave Ducati, the bigger question is perhaps not what he will do next, but who will fill his role at Ducati Motor Holding. With Audi AG already bringing in German Bernhard Gobmeier to takeover Ducati Corse, will the German parent company bring in another of one of its countrymen to fill Ducati’s ranks, or will the position be filled with another Italian?

That either/or analysis might be old hat actually, as Ducati is currently transitioning from a European brand into a global marquee, where India and Southeast Asia are extremely important markets for two-wheel manufacturers. Could we see another nationality fill the ranks? All interesting things to ponder while we wait for official news.

Source: Bothan Spies

  • Tim M

    Big changes afoot at Ducati! It wouldn’t happen but I’d vote for the return of Federico Minoli. Del Torchio kept Ducati profitable through the recession, an amazing achievement, but I think he took over a company that was in good shape thanks to Minoli. Besides taking Ducati from the Dark Ages to the digital age, he and American David Gross found ways to build the brand by doing things to generate consumer interest. World Ducati Week, the Ducati Riding Experience, the Ducati People photo campaign, the Ducati museum, all happened under Minoli’s management along with better reliability and longer service intervals. His blog was very popular and there was always an English version. When Del Torchio took over he didn’t blog very often and there wasn’t an English version. I think that characterizes his management style which is certainly financially effective, but I think Minoli understood the value of building relationships with customers and making them feel like they were part of something special.

  • I got an update on Minoli the other day — he’s a very busy man. I don’t think he has the free time for an undertaking like Ducati. I would like to see Gross back in motorcycles though…

  • smiler

    Please leave the engineering to a German. It would be a real shame to put a German CEO in. As seen at Lambo.

  • dipthroat

    The right man in the right place!
    He left a company with debts, and is going to a company that has made having debts a matter of honor!
    Who said that being inept doesn’t take you anywhere in life?

  • smiler

    He has also been on Spooks. Series 5 Episode 9. Niko Grecic.

  • john

    agree with jensen …

    having david gross back @ ducati would be good …

    and i would not count out federico returning to head up ducati …

    minoli loves the brand and would really revitalize the installed base/owners as he did when he first came to ducati.

  • pooch

    Good Riddance. Don’t let the door hit you on the way out.