Pippo Cannillo, president and CEO of Maiora, SPAR Brand operator for central and southern Italy, has been included by Forbes Italia in its Top 100 Italian Managers 2021 list.
This list recognises successful company founders, CEOs, and managers, who have led companies towards ambitious goals.
Born in 1980, Cannillo is one of the youngest CEOs in Italian retail. He graduated from Bocconi University with a degree in Business Administration in 2003.
He also holds a Master’s degree in Marketing from the HEC in Paris.
Cannillo has served as the president and CEO of Maiora since 2012 and has greatly contributed to making the SPAR regional operator one of the largest Italian companies in modern food retail.
With his driven managers and team members, Cannillo continues to expand the SPAR business with a strong vision and strategy.
SPAR operator Maiora stands out for its engagement with local communities and drive towards innovation and environmental sustainability.
Cannillo's career began at an early age in the afternoons after school, answering phone calls, moving boxes, and driving forklifts in warehouses for his father’s company.
"Even when I was six or seven, my father used to take me to his business meetings in Milan," Cannillo said and added, "I could attend on the condition that I was silent."
He added, "I have never considered a career outside the family business. The only other area where I was able to imagine myself is architecture, and I don’t think it is a coincidence: the ability to combine functionality, solidity, and beauty is at the heart of both the profession of the architect and that of the entrepreneur."
Even when he took over Maiora’s leadership, Cannillo continued to look to his father as a model of entrepreneur-architect.
"I learned from him without realising it. He taught me everything by example, never with high-sounding speeches. Family ownership is a strong factor. It gives stability and guarantees medium and long-term investments and plans. It allows us to make courageous and long-term choices, which is more challenging when there are multiple shareholders with small stakes.
"At the same time, however, management requires competent people, which are not always found among relatives. Maiora’s structure sits in the golden middle between a close-knit family business with cousins and grandchildren in key positions and a company that is just aiming at sustained profit."
SPAR Italy Partner
Maiora employs about 2,500 people and operates 450 multi-format SPAR stores, either company-owned or affiliated, as well as seven cash-and-carry stores.
The Cannillo group also includes a manufacturing branch which produces cereals and sweets, as well as several real estate companies.