A worldwide excellence with a family soul.
Building the most beautiful, innovative, technological and reliable yachts, being able to provide assistance everytime and everywhere in the world, requires great passion and shared values, like in a large family. Every new decision or path taken by the Group is inspired by our passion for the sea, by inspiring innovation based on a solid tradition of excellence and by the commitment to pursue new solutions today for an ever more conscious and sustainable future of yachting. This is the inspiration with which the Vitelli family has always guided the Azimut|Benetti Group. An entrepreneurial culture guided by the family values and based on the enhancement of internal talents, on which has built its own stability, necessary to seize and anticipate future opportunities.
Born in Turin in 1947 into a family of entrepreneurs, he founded Azimut when he was just 21 years old to make his dream come true: to set up his own business that would allow him to professionally pursue his great passion for boats and yachting.
After graduating in Economics and Commerce, at the age of 22, he became an importer for Italy of boats produced by some of the most prestigious shipyards in Northern Europe. This experience made him realise that the future of boating lay in mass production aimed at building reliable and safe boats with Italian taste and style, promptimg him to begin production under his own brand.
In the mid-seventies, Azimut launched a series of boats that were a great success. In the following years, Vitelli expanded the range from 8-10 metres to larger models, up to the iconic Azimut Failaka 105′ (30.8 metres), which was also sold to the Onassis family, and began exporting to North America, South East Asia and the Middle East. In the Eighties, Vitelli acquired Cantieri Benetti, a Viareggio-based shipyard with a history stretching back more than a century, and created the Azimut|Benetti Group.
The Nineties marked a period of uninterrupted and continuous expansion, every year all the proceeds were invested in the company’s development. The passionate and enlightened leadership of Paolo Vitelli, already in the middle of the decade, enabled the Group to achieve a turnover of 100 billion lire, which in 2003 would reach 403 million euros. In addition to expansion into international markets, Vitelli realised that it was product innovation that gave the company a strong connotation of reliability and prestige. Thus, he aimed to create yachts characterised by a precise style, elegance and strong innovation, introducing interior layouts and design that would later be imitated throughout the nautical world. A choice that, in 2000, led the Azimut|Benetti Group to win the title of the world’s leading producer of megayachts, a supremacy it has held uninterruptedly for 23 years.
In the 2000s, Vitelli expanded its production sites, acquired new shipyards and strengthened its network of technical assistance centres for clients, and built a number of marinas such as the Marina di Varazze, the Marina di Mosca, the Marina di Valletta in Malta and the Marina di Livorno. During this period, Vitelli confirmed himself as a visionary entrepreneur by continuing to invest, the first in the yachting industry, in technological innovation with a view to eco-sustainability, aimed at achieving an ever greater reduction in emissions and propulsion efficiency, with increasingly high-performance hulls, increasingly less polluting propulsion systems and the use of new materials such as carbon fibre to lighten the product.
Over the past two years, Vitelli has taken advantage of a favourable market to consolidate the Group, both by strengthening the management team and by dedicating himself to completing the succession of the company to his daughter Giovanna.
Since 2000, Giovanna Vitelli has been a member of the Board of Directors of Azimut|Benetti SpA. From 2004, she has intensified his active participation in the family business with a focus on corporate strategy and product development, reaching the position of Deputy – Executive Chairman with direction on new model development and Group R&D.
It is her contribution the opening towards external designers and the drive towards innovative propulsive solutions, managing to combine, with a concrete approach, “what is possible now”, with a strong ambition for the future of sustainable yachting. Since March 2023 she is Chair of the Group.
The passion for yachting and the will to work actively to promote a positive development of this industry in Italy and Europe, lead her to take part in the Board of Directors of Marina di Varazze S.r.l., a company dedicated to the construction and management of the tourist port of Varazze and of Lusben Varazze Srl, a company dedicated to the refit&repair of yachts. Giovanna Vitelli also sits in the executive committee of Boot Messe Düsseldorf, which manages the organization of the Messe Düsseldorf International Boat Show and is Vice President of Sybass, the international association of large megayacht manufacturers.
She is dedicated to the promotion of Made in Italy around the world, not only as Chair of Azimut|Benetti, whose yachts are an epitome of elegance and style typically associated with the excellence of our Country, but also as Vice President of the Foundation Altagamma, which brings together the companies of the high Italian cultural and creative industry, ambassadors of Italian style in the world.
She is a member of the Board of Directors of Breithorn Srl, a company dedicated to the management of the Grand Hotel des Alpes in Chamonix, the Hotellerie de Mascognaz and the Hotel Breithorn in Champoluc (Aosta). Member of the Board of Directors of Buzzi Unicem Spa, an Italian multinational company specialized in the production of cement and concrete.
Since 2018 Giovanna Vitelli has been Honorary Consul of Norway for Piedmont.
Marco Valle boasts over 25 years of experience in the Azimut|Benetti Group and is the example of talent enhancement that the company has always pursued.
In 1996 he took his first steps within the sales division of Azimut Yachts. He immediately embarked on a path of professional growth that led him to hold increasingly important positions, up to that of Global Sales Director of Azimut Yachts until 31 August 2016. From 1 September 2017 Marco Valle is the new Chief Executive Officer of Azimut Yachts and takes responsibility for the economic and managerial results of the business line.
From 1 September 2020 Marco Valle is the new Chief Executive Officer of the Group.