leonardo’s 70 year history: underpinning the present, inspiring the future

October 11, 2018

The name Leonardo has always been synonymous with innovation, research and passion. Having grown and evolved for 70 years at the heart of Italy’s industrial base, the Group which was originally called Finmeccanica and is now known as Leonardo has emerged as a national and international leader in the Aerospace, Defence and Security (AD&S) sector. Today, Leonardo is celebrating these first 70 years with a special stakeholder event, highlighting the Company’s role as a driver of modernisation and technological innovation. As humanity reaches towards the frontiers of the third millennium, the Company will continue to have a unique role to play.
In 2018, Leonardo stands as a global leader in industry with a distinct portfolio of technology. Years of commercial success, combined with effective responses to periodic challenges, have propelled the Company into its current position as Italy’s top industrial group and one of the top ten companies in the AD&S sector. A multicultural, cohesive and dynamic organisation built on professionalism, Leonardo boasts a major international presence and a broad commercial network that is able to respond to the security needs of the global community. This is on top of a major element which underpins the Company’s growth: the drive to integrate sustainable practices across all aspects of business. This approach has created, and will continue to build, long-term value – as well as wider economic, social and environmental benefits for stakeholders.
With a strong heritage and a strategic national role in Italy, Leonardo is a driver of enlightened business culture. This mission is now being reinforced through the establishment of the ‘Leonardo Foundation’, a base to foster dialogue between industry and society, promote business culture across Italy’s regions, contribute to cultural heritage such as museums and disseminate academic studies and research.
“Leonardo’s first 70 years represent a true history of innovation. By recognising our heritage, we’re able to inspire our future.” said Giovanni De Gennaro, Chairman of Leonardo. “By establishing our new Foundation, Leonardo is taking steps to share our precious legacy of knowledge and business culture. We see the Foundation as a tool to spread our principle of ‘technology as a driver of the common good’, under the banner of industrial humanism. This modern management creed looks to the past as a source of inspiration for building the future, both for the Company itself as well as in the regions in which we operate.”
“As we celebrate this anniversary, we are taking pride in the extraordinary wealth of skills we have inherited and our standing as one of Italy’s strategic assets” said Alessandro Profumo, CEO of Leonardo. “The position we build from today has only been reached thanks to the commitment, passion, and professionalism of our people, throughout our history. Over the decades, this has led to the Group being able to consolidate its leading role in domestic and international markets and identify the path to sustainable, long-term growth in high-technology and innovation.”
The origins of Leonardo can be traced back to 1948, with the establishment of the “Società Finanziaria Meccanica” (afterwards abbreviated to ‘Finmeccanica’). Since then, the Group has experienced a number of changes in the wake of historic events, both in Italy and around the world. Over the years, the brands that comprised Finmeccanica have themselves been leaders in their own industrial sectors, today they have been merged into one leading company in the AD&S sector. Indeed, the transformation into one company has marked the start of a new phase: not that of a financial holding company, but rather an integrated industrial entity. This entity, with a strong orientation towards high technology, focused on AD&S, has put customers, innovation and sustainability at the core of its growth strategy. The 2016 change of name to Leonardo, reflecting the innovative genius of the great Leonardo da Vinci, is symbolic of the process of renewal which culminated in the Company’s 2018-2022 Industrial Plan.