Our Plant Manager in Pordenone spent his early career travelling the world in far-fetched places from Siberia to Iraq.
Having returned ‘home’ to join the company, he still enjoys life on the road, these days navigating the mountains of his native northern Italy.
Patrizio knew from an early age he wanted to work abroad. As a 22-year-old engineer he went to Iraq, working with equipment installation while the war with Iran was ongoing, and recalls sheltering in bunkers in the desert. In Siberia, he built the valves for the gas line to Europe – something that that’s very much in the news right now. He also worked in Ukraine, Kazakhstan as well as the US and the former Soviet Union.
Siberia? Iraq? Tell us about your journey from there to Electrolux Professional?
Travelling for me is contagious – and the huge differences culturally and politicallyo made me grw up much faster. When it was finally to settle down in the early 90s, I joined Electrolux in Italy in the Engineering Office for components.
A few years later I was on the move again; this time with my wife and young children and we spent an amazing three years in Alabama where I worked at the refrigerator factory as engineering manager. I’ve been in my current job since 2003 and my career journey has been key to my role today as well as my personal growth.
Manufacturing globally has been hit hard with the pandemic and now supply chain issues – what is the reality?
It has been tough; but we were one of the first plants in Italy to implement strict Covid regulations so that our people could work safely when the factory could open. Again, I was present and here in the factory with them – it was important for me to understand their situation.
How would you describe yourself as a leader? And what’s your advice to aspiring young managers?
Well, my motto is that we can all make mistakes, but what distinguishes us is that we must always be ready for alternative solutions. I can deliver solutions, but it’s also important to instill trust in people to think and react for themselves. That is why I particularly like our Guiding Principle – Be Bold.
Another thing – never panic – and as a leader bring a sense of calm to critical situations. Be reliable and be present. I never forget anybody and feel that is appreciated.
My advice would be to never give up, even when events don’t seem to be favourable, hard work and perseverance in pursuing the objectives always pays off.
Speaking of the company’s Guiding Principles, what do they mean to you?
They are modern, innovative and well-suited to our business. ‘Build Trust’ is fundamental for a motivated and passionate team that acts in accordance with the other principles.
And, as I mentioned, I also like ‘Be Bold’. With my team we have created an environment where people are not afraid to speak up if there are problems and things need improving. In fact, it’s worst if you discover an issue when it’s too late to solve. So, this is something I firmly believe in.
Finally, let’s mention that motorbike – have you been a keen biker for long?
Yes! When I was young, I had a bike but sold it when I was working and travelling. My wife wasn’t quite as passionate about it back then – I took her out once and she said never again!
But on our 25th wedding anniversary, we bought another one and I don’t need to drive so crazy these days. We always go together; to the mountains or the woods where you can’t get to by car. Spending a day out on the road is my relaxation and gives me a different perspective.