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  • Interview

Turning point

Francesco Michea – since almost one year CEO of the company – among the protagonists of Zanotta’s new deal is a figure who coincides with the new season made of new challenges, innovations and commitments. Under the virtuous combination of profit-culture.

The 58-years old manager Francesco Michea seems to have many and clear strategies to enhance the knowledge of the historic brand in the global market, confirming the leading role of Zanotta in the high-end furnishing and of “main player” of a strongly oriented vision to the social and cultural dimension of design. Thanks to his long experience achieved while working for important international companies of the ICT sector (Hewlett Packard, Siemens Nixdorf, Think3, Nextra, Terasystem, StorageTek, Hitachi Data Systems) Michea is quite familiar with those situations requiring willingness to change and the highest level of commitment to achieve more ambitious targets while respecting the continuity of the tradition of business quality and ethics. The new Zanotta’s CEO, with a degree with honors in Electronic Engineering, father of two children, has held positions as CEO, General Manager and Sales Vice President in global companies, developing a very helpful experience in finding solutions and actions ahead of times for the company based in Nova Milanese, which aims at expanding its market segments in the furniture design for the home and contract. Michea, very careful in analyzing the economic data, in managing the human resources and naturally inclined to see the customer at the center of his action, explains the details of his new industrial plan, being aware of a challenge at 360° that Zanotta, for the very first time after its establishment, relies on a professional outside the family.

Q. Your entry in Zanotta coincides with the 60 years of the company and a new direction in the coordinated image. A good sign for a role aiming at the company development.
A. Yes, sure. Despite the respectable age of 60 years, I’ve found a lot of freshness and potential in Zanotta. It is the first positive surprise of this new experience and there are many areas within the organization that I am dealing with my working team, in order to make them more functional, agile and fully aligned to the targets of growth that the company has given itself for the years to come.
Q. What are the priority aspects of the structure and the strategic vision you would like to make interventions in, to innovate and give boost to the company?
A. We want and we must be more clever, rigorous and accurate in translating our mission into practice. Zanotta operates in the High Quality Design and shall be increasingly able to confirm and renew its excellence to make design available to those who aspire to be surrounded by lasting beautiful things, not only for the quality of product, but also for the permanent value that our wide high-quality offer, is able to provide Zanotta’s customers, fans and researchers. In short we want to strongly reaffirm our commitment for the real “design for living”. With this background we are acting on different organizational levels, from the production to the sales, redefining the main processes of the company with the aim of ensuring efficiency to the Zanotta system and provide a strong boost to the development of geographic coverage. A factor that foresees a firm commitment by the company towards overseas markets, like the United States, the Far and Middle East, not forgetting Europe that still gives us great satisfaction and sees the United Kingdom at the centre of a new project for developing Zanotta presence across the Channel.
Q. Joining profit and culture belongs to the mission of the company set up in 1954 by Aurelio Zanotta. According to your experience gained in the management of large Italian and foreign groups, what is the major challenge?
A. Profit and culture represent a very important dual concept for the company. Mentioned for the very first time by Aurelio Zanotta in Aspen back in 1989, it reminds that the only way to dominate market, receiving the right and continuous appreciation from it, is producing and offering value in an ethic manner, putting the customer at the centre of our vision, of our commitment and services. In this sense the challenge is perfectly in line with what the multinational companies think and aim to do in various markets, with the fascinating difference that this time the headquarter is in Italy and it’s up to us going beyond the national borders to spread the word of culture and business, what we might call the “Zanotta way”, which means obsessive attention to detail and ongoing research aimed at the development and renewal of the offer for furnishing solutions and services.
Q. What of the design world fascinates you the most ?
A.Our Country occupies an outstanding and clear position of leadership in the world of design and for me, proud to be Italian, it is an absolutely appealing condition and full of value, because it pushes each day to engage and improve oneself in order to continue outdoing the role of leader. Moreover I notice with pleasure that there is less technology compared to the world I come from, but also that technology is stepping forward with force into this market segment, bringing a strong contribution in terms of quality, speed and efficiency to the High Quality Design system. A design that means charm, beauty, warmth and emotions, and it is my and our intention to continue interpreting those contents for the next 60 years, honoring the concept culture-profit.
Q. In your home, which Zanotta’s icons you would like to add in ?
A. There are some remarkable signs of “Zanotta style” in my home. For sure there are a lot of icons that could be added. Just to mention a few, I think of Sacco, Sciangai, Leonardo, Cavour, Mezzadro, Sella…all Mollino’s items and I could go on. I am however convinced that after a while I should rely on a good architect…and it would be a hard choice, as there are so many and talented designers I met in Zanotta during the first months.