Giovanni Agnelli, 1920-1945
Born in in 1866 in Villar Perosa, north of Turin, to a wealthy farming family.
Agnelli entered into a military career, graduating from the Modena Academy in 1886 and becoming a Savoia Cavalry lieutenant in 1889. That year he married Clara Boselli. The couple had two children, Edoardo and Aniceta.
In 1892, he left the army and returned to Villar Perosa to run the family properties. In 1899 he helped found Fiat, becoming managing director in 1902 and chairman in 1920. He died on 16 December 1945.
Vittorio Valletta, 1946-1966
Born in Sanpierdarena, near Genova, on 28 July 1883. Valletta moved to Turin in 1890, graduating in 1901 from the Germano Sommellier accounting high school. In 1904, after teaching accounting for three years, he opened his own accounting business, but also continued to teach.
He joined Fiat in February 1921 on a three-year consulting contract. In January 1928, he was named general manager. He became managing director in 1943 and in July 1946 was given the added role of chairman. He retired in April 1966 and died in August 1967.
Gianni Agnelli, 1966-1996
Born in Turin on 12 March 1921. Agnelli planned to study law, but in the winter of 1941 he joined the Italian army, serving first in Russia and then in Africa. He graduated in Rome after the end of the war, but never became a lawyer. He married Marella Caracciolo di Castagneto in 1953. They have two children, Edoardo and Margherita.
On 25 February 1943, he joined the Fiat board. He became vice chairman in July 1946 and served as Fiat chairman from April 1966 until June 1996, when he was named honorary chairman.
Cesare Romiti, 1996-1998
Born on 24 June 1923 in Rome. After graduating with a business degree in 1945, he worked briefly in a bank. In 1947, he moved to Bombrini Parodi Delfino, a chemical and weapons group. In 1970, he joined Alitalia airline as managing director, then became managing director of Italstat, the state-owned road-building company.
Romiti joined Fiat in 1974 as chief financial officer and became managing director in 1976. In June 1996 he was named chairman, a post he left on June 1998.
Paolo Fresco, 1998-present
Born in Milan on 12 July 1933. Fresco received a law degree from the University of Genova and began work as a lawyer in Rome. In 1962, he entered business, first at Compagnia Generale di Elettricita, later at Cogenel. In 1976, he was named general manager of General Electric for Italy, the Middle East and Africa.
In 1979, he took over General Electric Europe. He joined GE's board in 1990 and became vice chairman and chief executive in 1992.
In June 1996, he joined the Fiat board and in June 1998 was named chairman. He left GE in October 1998 to work full time at Fiat.