John Elkann
Italian businessman
John Elkann
John Philip Jacob Elkann is an Italian industrialist. He was the chosen heir of Gianni Agnelli, his grandfather, and controls the family's automaker Fiat. He is the Chairman of Fiat and the Chairman and CEO of Exor, an investment company controlled by the Agnelli family, which owns Juventus F.C. , Cushman & Wakefield and SGS.
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Weekend Roundup: A Hard Look At The Long Past And The Near Future
Huffington Post - 4 days
Sorting out the present global turmoil understandably demands our attention. But fathoming the lessons of the long past and anticipating the near future is no less important in framing the consequential choices we make today. Warning to the reader: what follows will likely disturb the safe space of those with a Panglossian outlook. A decided pessimism prevails among today’s key thinkers who look at the times ahead through the prism of historical experience. This week, Stanford University classics historian Walter Scheidel outlines the theme of his new book, The Great Leveler: Violence and the History of Inequality from the Stone Age to the Twenty-First Century. “For hundreds and perhaps thousands of years,” Scheidel writes, “peace, stability and development have rewarded those at the top of the food chain more than anybody else. Profits from business, connections and power multiplied in the hands of the few and passed between generations. But the inverse is also true: Every tim ...
Article Link:
Huffington Post article
Weekend Roundup: Europe May Break The Brexit-Trump Momentum This Year
Huffington Post - 11 days
After Brexit and the victory of U.S. President Donald Trump, the widespread expectation is that continental Europe will follow suit and bring populists into power in upcoming elections there this year. Yet one repercussion of the early days of the Trump presidency is that Europeans can now see clearly the kind of ugly incivility, volatility and chaos that will result if they go down that path. The memory of Europeans also remains closer to the devastation their continent experienced in the 20th century as a result of ultra-nationalism. You can’t step into the now meticulously reconstructed Frauenkirche in Dresden – only completed in 2005 ― without recalling the World War II destruction of that magnificent city. Despite distaste for the Brussels bureaucracy and messy politics of the European Union, what former French President François Mitterrand once said still resonates with most Europeans: “Nationalism means war.”   Pierpaolo Barbieri writes this week that elections or govern ...
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Huffington Post article
Weekend Roundup: Disarming America’s Soft Power
Huffington Post - 18 days
Presidential historian Daniel Franklin writes this week that U.S. President Donald Trump could be a once-in-an-era “reconstructive president” in the mold of Andrew Jackson, FDR and Ronald Reagan. Like those former leaders, says Franklin, he has upended the status quo by realigning partisan constituencies and departing entirely from the previous governing consensus, a shift that can be progressive or regressive. More than just having won an election, Trump is out to effect a “regime change” that will be in place for a long time to come. “There is a very good possibility that Trump will succeed,” Franklin writes. “It is hard to fight a reconstructive president. By and large Americans want to be led. My own research suggests that there is a bias in our minds towards bold leadership, no matter where it takes us. Furthermore, there is plenty of evidence to suggest that with human beings the facts bend to perception rather than the other way around.” Writing from Santiago, Chile, And ...
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Huffington Post article
Weekend Roundup: When Leaders Disinhibit Acting Out Hate
Huffington Post - 25 days
Is an executive order in a secular state like a fatwa in an Islamic theocracy? Of course it is not in the sense that a fatwa, or clerical decree on a given subject, is the last word while a directive from the top in a secular democracy is only the first word. It must stand up to the laws and the Constitution, not to speak of citizen protests. But in the larger sense, if recognized authorities legitimate fear of others unlike them, might the extremist fringe regard such official guidance as the psychological permission to act? Canada’s famous philosopher of secularism and religion, Charles Taylor, approaches the thought in an interview about the attack on a Quebec City mosque earlier this week that killed six people. An ultranationalist is suspected of carrying out that shooting. “Whenever political leaders propose to limit the rights of Muslims,” says Taylor, “they encourage Islamophobic sentiment and disinhibit hostile acts. If highly respected leaders share that hostility, why s ...
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Huffington Post article
Weekend Roundup: Inauguration Into The Unknown
Huffington Post - about 1 month
This week a whole nation was inaugurated into the unknown. We don’t know what Donald Trump will do once in the White House. But we do know how he got there. Everyone of good faith must hope that the new president will succeed in his promised aim of lifting up the left behind, which the political establishment he ousted could not do. Yet, anyone with the slightest sense of history must also worry how his path to power will define what he does with it. The debasement of the democratic discourse introduced during Trump’s election campaign and since has already inflicted damage that cannot be easily undone. The level of xenophobic demonization of the world outside and enemies within, like his impulsive invective unleashed against even marginal critics, has been unprecedented for any presidential candidate in memory. Perhaps most dangerously, his effort to delegitimize any media, and even denigrate official intelligence agencies, that won’t play along with his fast and loose use of fac ...
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Huffington Post article
Weekend Roundup: Davos Elites Look To China’s Global Role As America Steps Back
Huffington Post - about 2 months
A new rift in world affairs appears to be opening up: a division between pro-globalization Asia, with China in the lead, and the transatlantic nations that have turned against globalization. “President Xi’s appearance at the World Economic Forum in Davos next week,” I write in a blog post this week, “comes at both an auspicious and inauspicious moment. It is an auspicious moment because President-elect Donald Trump has all but announced America’s withdrawal from the world it has largely made over recent decades — and from which Asia has most benefited.” Since Europe has become inwardly absorbed with anxieties over terror attacks, immigration and failed integration, I continue, “that leaves China as the one major power with a global outlook. Ready or not, China has become the de facto world leader seeking to maintain an open global economy and battle climate change. In effect, President Xi has become the ‘core leader’ of globalization.” “The inauspicious aspect is the reverse,” ...
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Huffington Post article
Weekend Roundup: America’s Crisis Of Social Intelligence
Huffington Post - about 2 months
If the recent U.S. presidential election campaign was about defining American reality, little has been decided. The ongoing inability to arrive at a shared worldview or even to agree on basic facts, abetted by a media that thrives on adversity to monetize attention, is deadly for the discourse in any democracy. This crisis of social intelligence in which the perception of reality is unmoored from objective observation is even more consequential than the highly damaging quarrel between the official U.S. intelligence agencies and President-elect Donald Trump over Russian influence meddling. But the two are linked. None of the intelligence professionals I know would ever consider themselves infallible. Yet they do strive mightily to establish the facts and resist partisan pressures to slant their findings. Professional intelligence analysis seeks to root out false signals, disinformation, unfounded rumor and subjective opinion. It is, in effect, the opposite of peer-driven social ...
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Huffington Post article
Year-End Roundup: In 2016, The World Passed The Tipping Point Into A Perilous New Era
Huffington Post - about 2 months
In the 2015 WorldPost Year-End Roundup, we observed that we were then “on the cusp of a tipping point” in the race between a world coming together and one falling apart. In 2016, we have indeed tipped over into a new era. The profound upheavals of this year were anticipated in an essay we published in March titled “Why the World Is Falling Apart.” In that piece I wrote, “The fearful and fearsome reaction against growing inequality, social dislocation and loss of identity in the midst of vast wealth creation, unprecedented mobility and ubiquitous connectivity, is a mutiny, really, against globalization so audacious and technological change so rapid that it can barely be absorbed by our incremental nature. In this accelerated era,” I continued, “future shock can feel like repeated blows in the living present to individuals, families and communities alike.” Revolt Against Global Elites  Economics and technology forged the worldwide converge ...
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Huffington Post article
Weekend Roundup: The Berlin Attack Has Sealed The Political Fate Of Europe
Huffington Post - 2 months
Europe was already reeling from major terror attacks in Brussels, Paris and Nice as well as Brexit and the defeat of the political establishment in the Italian referendum before this week. With anti-immigrant parties standing ambitiously in the wings waiting for events to further boost them into power, the worst thing that could have happened, the shoe waiting to drop, was a terror attack at Christmas time in Germany by an asylum-seeker linked to Islamist terror groups. It is just that which took place in Berlin this week.  That the inevitable has now occurred likely seals the political fate of Europe. Public opinion will surely turn decisively against the open-arms refugee policy of German Chancellor Angela Merkel — the most prominent defender of the troubled European project of integration and the free movement of people. Merkel’s coalition partner (yet mainstream opponent) Horst Seehofer of the Bavarian Christian Social Union, has already laid down the challenge. “We owe it to ...
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Huffington Post article
Weekend Roundup: Russian Intrusion in the U.S. Election Signals a New 'Code War'
Huffington Post - 2 months
Russian hackers have been implicated by the CIA and FBI in an audacious effort to sway voters in the recent U.S. presidential election in the direction of Donald Trump. Like other key events in U.S. history, such as Pearl Harbor or 9/11, the revelation of the Russian cyber intrusion is a wake-up call. It signals that a new “code war” is underway through the weaponization of information.  The irony can’t be missed, of course, that the CIA, which itself sought to influence democratic elections around the world from the earliest days of the Cold War, is calling out the Russians. Former CIA director Bill Colby once regaled me with tales of his years as a young operative in Italy, paying off journalists and channeling laundered funds to the Christian Democrats in elections during the 1950s to (successfully) defeat the Communists at the polls. The CIA also clandestinely funded the Liberal Democratic Party in Japan to oppose leftist forces there during that same era. It also intervened t ...
Article Link:
Huffington Post article
Weekend Roundup: How Social Media Splits the Global Conversation
Huffington Post - 3 months
Every year The WorldPost joins with MIT collective intelligence research scientist Peter Gloor and the Gottlieb Duttweiler Institute in Zurich to measure the most influential thought leaders and the top platforms for the exchange of ideas in the global digital realm. The latest results are reported in the 2016 Global Thought Leaders Index, which examines the English, Spanish, German, Chinese and Arabic language areas on the web. You can find the methodology here.  As the map below of the globally-dominant English language web shows, The WorldPost/Huffington Post is the most prominent idea-spreading digital platform along with The New York Times outside of social media, which is dominated by Facebook and Twitter.  What this year’s analysis also reveals, as I write in my summary of the key findings, is that, “the passionate political environment of 2016 appears to have marked a tipping point … where the influence of individuals sharing information on social media surpassed that ...
Article Link:
Huffington Post article
Timeline
Learn about memorable moments in the evolution of John Elkann
    THIRTIES
  • 2011
    Age 34
    In February 2011, he was appointed chairman and CEO of EXOR.
    More Details Hide Details
  • 2010
    Age 33
    In 2010, he became chairman of Fiat S.p.A. (now Fiat Chrysler Automobiles), succeeding Luca Cordero di Montezemolo, and chairman of the Giovanni Agnelli e C. Sapaz, succeeding Gianluigi Gabetti.
    More Details Hide Details
  • 2007
    Age 30
    On 11 November 2007, Mrs. Elkann gave birth to the couple's second boy, Oceano (Italian for ocean) Noah.
    More Details Hide Details Their third child, a girl named Vita (Italian for life) Talita was born on 23 January 2012. They were all born in Turin at S.Anna's Hospital.
  • TWENTIES
  • 2003
    Age 26
    After the deaths of his grandfather Gianni Agnelli in 2003, and his great-uncle Umberto Agnelli in 2004, Elkann became vice chairman of Fiat and vice chairman of Giovanni Agnelli & C, the family partnership through which it controls EXOR.
    More Details Hide Details
    In 2003, he joined IFIL (now Exor) and worked on the turnaround of Fiat Group.
    More Details Hide Details Elkann was instrumental in the appointment of current Fiat CEO, Sergio Marchionne, in May 2004.
  • 2000
    Age 23
    In 2000, after graduating in Engineering from Politecnico di Torino, he joined General Electric’s Corporate Audit program.
    More Details Hide Details He left General Electric two years later.
  • 1997
    Age 20
    In December 1997, Elkann was selected by his grandfather Gianni Agnelli to take the place in the family business of Giovanni Alberto Agnelli, the son of Gianni’s younger brother, Umberto, who had died at the age of 33.
    More Details Hide Details He was appointed to the Fiat Board at the age of 21.
  • TEENAGE
  • 1994
    Age 17
    Elkann attended primary school in the United Kingdom and in Brazil, before his family moved to Paris, France, where he obtained a baccalauréat scientifique at the State School Lycée Victor-Duruy in 1994.
    More Details Hide Details Later the same year, he moved to Italy to attend the Politecnico di Torino (Turin), where he graduated with a degree in management engineering in 2000. As a result of his international upbringing, he is fluent in four languages. While pursuing his degree in Engineering, Elkann gained work experience through several internships: headlight plant in Birmingham, England (1996), production line in Tychy, Poland (1997), car dealership in Lille, France (1998) and also at GE's CIG (corporate initiatives group) where he worked on a thesis on e-auctions (1999).
  • CHILDHOOD
  • 1981
    Age 4
    Born in New York City, John Elkann is the first son of Alain Elkann, a journalist and writer of French Jewish and Italian Jewish background, and his then wife Italian Margherita Agnelli. His parents divorced in 1981 and both have remarried.
    More Details Hide Details Elkann's maternal grandparents were the Italian socialite Marella Agnelli (born Donna Marella Caracciolo di Castagneto) and the industrialist Gianni Agnelli. His paternal great-grand-uncle was the banker Ettore Ovazza. He has a brother, Lapo, and a sister, Ginevra, as well as five half-siblings from his mother’s second marriage, as Margherita Agnelli de Pahlen, to Serge de Pahlen. His younger half-siblings are: Maria (born 1983), Pierre (born 1986), twins Sophie and Anna (born 1988) and Tatiana (born 1990).
  • 1976
    Born
    Born on April 1, 1976.
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Original Authors of this text are noted here.
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