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All about Melissa Ferretti Peretti, the new head of Google Italy

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Curriculum and curiosity about Melissa Ferretti Peretti, new CEO of Google Italy

News at the top of Google Italy: after 8 months without CEO (after the exit of Fabio Vaccarono, from October she became CEO of Multiversity-Università Telematica Pegaso) the new head of the company will be Melissa Ferretti Peretti.

Ferretti Peretti has been CEO of American Express Italia up to now as well as Head of consumer business for Germany and Austria. And now you have reached an agreement with the American company, having gone through all the steps of the multi-level verification process that are necessary in these cases.

The task of leading Google in the peninsula has so far been handled on an interim basis by Fuencisla Clemares, Google’s country manager in Spain and Portugal.

Born in Rome in 1971, Melissa Ferretti Peretti grew up tenaciously in the managerial roles she held immediately after graduating in Economics from La Sapienza University in Rome.

Her family belonging – she is the daughter of two internationally renowned set designers Francesca Lo Schiavo and Dante Ferretti – could have pushed her towards very different professional shores, wrote the Corriere della Sera today: “But she opted for a corporate career because, to declare in an interview “I did not have the necessary artistic qualities and I thought that I could try my hand at managerial roles”. After a first work experience in Accenture, she decided to invest in an MBA at Bocconi in 2002. Hence the leap to a role of product manager at Vodafone, then the move to Amex, where she quickly reached the role of country manager”.


She began his career at American Express in 2003, in a variety of roles with increasing levels of responsibility. In 2009 she was named Vice President of Products and Communications, later assuming direct responsibility for partnerships and CRM. In this role you have ensured strong business growth thanks to important agreements and the renewal of premium products.

In 2013 she assumed responsibility for the Small Business segment and in September 2014 she was appointed Vice President, Head of Proprietary Card Services Italy, dealing with the development of the consumer and small business market, also through the launch in Italy of successful products such as cards. co-branded.

Melissa Peretti is a member of the Diversity and Inclusion Council and main sponsor of the Women in the Pipeline & at the Top project by American Express, aimed at increasing female leadership and promoting the presence of women in the company. Melissa is a firm believer in the development of talent and the importance of a corporate culture capable of enhancing diversity.

She began his professional career at Accenture, then continuing his career at Vodafone. After graduating in Economics and Commerce, she obtained a Masters in Business Administration from SDA Bocconi.


At five in the morning she was at the gates of Sapienza, the university of the capital where she had enrolled in the Faculty of Economics and Commerce, to take her place in the classroom and follow the lessons. A choice dictated by her belief that they were studios capable of opening up more space for her future work. Work she wanted to find on her own instead of asking her parents for help. And they could have given it to him. Francesca Lo Schiavo and Dante Ferretti are two stars of international cinema, both set designers for three Oscars. “I love cinema, it’s a personal as well as a family passion, but I didn’t have the artistic qualities, and I thought I could try my hand at managerial roles”.

Born in Rome on January 1, 1971, Melissa Ferretti Peretti attended the Assumption in middle school, a school for nuns for girls from good families. The Mameli, a state institute, was chosen for the classical high school. “I really enjoyed it, I loved classical studies, which I thought I would cultivate over time because they gave me the ability to reason both analytically and synthetically. High school, if you are good and intelligent enough and the teachers know what you are worth, is a more protected situation ”. The university, on the other hand, presents itself to her as chaotic and impossible. “So it was when I signed up: a survival school camp”. It takes you a year and a half to set up and understand the mechanisms, you barely pass four exams, but from the second year your performance increases. She buys time and graduates with 110 cum laude. She joins Accenture as a consultant, which was then called the Management Consulting Group. “I spent five years there, in which I learned to work, to relate to colleagues and partners; two years in Rome and two in Milan and, for a project, a period also in Genoa. I was young and if I look back, even the bosses were kids ”.

In Milan, in the second part of this experience, she was called to be part of a division that was left uncovered due to a sudden discharge. “The company needed someone capable of setting up digital projects overnight, with the aim of supporting companies that were entering the hi-tech business. I worked on contents of a more strategic than technical nature, I learned a lot about the world of finance, the evaluation of proposals, the business plan, financial analysis “.

It was 2001 and the manager realizes she wants to leave Accenture because she doesn’t see growth prospects. She decides to take some time: her desire is to go back to studying. “I had to take a step back and clear my mind about what I really wanted.” Don’t leave anything to chance anymore. She starts again from an MBA at Bocconi, an investment in herself. For one year, until December 2002. “Full time university, backpack on the shoulder. If previously studying was experienced as an obligation, there it has become a privilege. I gave up working and earning; of course, I had to pay for it, and even if it required some sacrifices, I earned points in professionalism, as well as made new bonds and strong friendships. The master gave me method, confidence, the ability to connect points, synthesize, interact with others and many other skills that are soft and you find yourself over the years “.

Among the first opportunities that materialize at the end of the master is that of Vodafone. “Moving from consulting with Accenture to life as a company was what I wanted to build a longer-range path. I liked the idea of ​​doing finance or marketing. Vodafone offered me this second option as a product manager. For the first time I understood what it means to work in a team that always remains the same, where you have to build relationships. I’ve never considered myself good at this, but evidently I am; the human aspect is important to me, I think it is impossible to separate it from the professional one “.

It lasts a year and a half but that was a very fertile period, and other proposals were looming on the horizon of the manager. One was American Express in London, in finance, the talks had gone well even though they didn’t have a position at the time. After a year and a half they turned up for Italy, just as Ferretti Peretti was considering another offer. “I spent a summer reflecting and in the end I decided on my stomach”. In November 2003, she chose to go to Amex. It is the beginning of a 15-year story, the story of her career.

She starts as a loyalty manager in marketing, “I was a manager, not yet a manager. Amex is a global company, it pays a lot of attention to the growth of talents, even here I have had leaders who have valued me and have given me more and more tasks than I at first thought I could manage. I have never made career plans, the only purpose was to do things I liked, learn new ones and work where I can have fun and be appreciated. It has happened to me a little in all the realities that I have known ”.

In Amex every two years Melissa Ferretti Peretti finds herself having a broader role, executive, director, with greater responsibilities and related risks. In August 2009, the important transition to vice president; in 2015 she nominated her as country manager and chief executive officer for Italy, the first Italian woman and one of the youngest; in November 2018 the addition of the markets of Germany and Austria.


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