Adriano Olivetti

About Adriano Olivetti

Do you feel like doing a little quiz about Adriano Olivetti which you can correct online? Here it is; just drag the parts of the  sentences on the right hand side to the left side and check when you are finished.

I’ve just read in an article that Adriano was the most important Italian entrepreneur  of his time and an intellectual  in various fields who died on the 27th February 1960 at the age of 59. He took over the company which his father had founded in Ivrea. It had about 35’000 employees of which half worked abroad. He died while travelling from Milan to Lausanne. It seems that he often came to Switzerland because, when he had to escape from the fascists, he found refuge in this country.


His father, Camillo imposed discipline and sobriety which provoked rebellion during his son’s adolescence. Despite this he joined the father’s company in 1924 for a short period. When he had problems with Mussolini’s Fascist regime, his father sent him to the United States to learn the roots of the American industrial power. Later on he also went to England.

With his father’s approval he transformed the shop into a factory with departments and divisions. Due to this reorganization the output per man-hour doubled within the following five years. Half of typewriters sold in Italy in 1933 were produced by Olivetti. Adriano shared with his employees what they earned because of their higher productivity and also gave them fringe benefits.

Even though Adriano despised the regime he became a member of the Fascist Party and became a Catholic, but during the second World War he partecipated in an underground antifascist movement. After the war the company became even bigger. In the 1950s  calculaters and computers replaced the typewriter. Adriano did not only do business but invested  a lot of time in his utopian ideal, namely that war could be avoided, if people respected each other and the enivronment. However, after his death there was no other leader anymore in that sense.

In den schweizer Bergen
Monte Sighignolo/on the border to Switzerland

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