Riccardo Vannetti: a luxury manager running for mayor in Colle Val d’Elsa

Riccardo Vanetti

We last saw Riccardo Vannetti in the Forbes list of the top 100 marketing managers when he moved from Pitti Immagine to Salvatore Ferragamo Spa as Chief Marketing Officer. Currently, he holds the position of Chief Brand and Digital Transformation Officer at “The Palmeraie”, a $2 billion luxury complex in Scottsdale, Arizona, developed by Five Star Development. This real estate and commercial group have developed over 20 million square meters of new structures in the southwestern United States and has projects spanning Texas, Arizona, New Mexico, California, and even Canada.

A professional who could command up to a million dollars according to American standards for such high-ranking positions, Riccardo Vannetti has worked on projects with renowned artists like Julia Roberts, Julianne Moore, Stanley Tucci, Taron Egerton, as well as directors Francesco Carrozzini and Luca Guadagnino during his time at Salvatore Ferragamo. Now, he’s taken a surprising turn by stepping away from the global luxury scene to run for mayor in his hometown of Colle Val d’Elsa. This small Tuscan town, known as the Italian crystal capital, has a population of fewer than 22,000 and boasts a beautiful medieval village.

This decision may seem unconventional to some, but it’s worth noting that the impressive Vannetti brothers hail from here. Riccardo’s brother, Alessio Vannetti, was the Chief Brand Officer for Valentino and currently serves as the Executive Vice President and CBO of Gucci.

While the distance between Arizona and Colle Val d’Elsa is vast, he isn’t giving up on his career but rather adapting it to a new life choice. He feels a deep-rooted need to contribute to his birthplace. By reducing his executive roles for more strategic and supervisory positions, he plans to spend less time traveling to the U.S. and more time in Colle Val d’Elsa, utilizing global connectivity for work.

This unexpected turn began with a chance encounter with the Democratic Party during primary elections won by Elly Schlein. Alessio Vannetti began engaging in youth-focused activities, leading to an invitation to run for mayor. Initially hesitant, he gradually warmed up to the idea. Colle Val d’Elsa holds sentimental value for him, representing family, old friends, roots, and a desire to give back to the community.

Managing both roles will be streamlined. He plans to dedicate 100% of his time to municipal administration while responsibly managing his professional commitments. He believes in hard work and intends to keep a close eye on his business operations, with a team handling the day-to-day tasks. Travel to the U.S. will decrease, allowing him to focus on his mayoral responsibilities.

Despite his lack of experience in local governance, Alessio Vannetti believes his global business experience will be invaluable. He has managed diverse, multinational teams and understands strategic planning and execution. Though he’s new to the bureaucratic and administrative aspects of local governance, he is confident in his ability to adapt and tackle the city’s needs. He aims to implement the collaborative strategies he’s honed in international corporations to streamline response times in public administration. He emphasizes the importance of a citizen-centric approach, valuing the community’s input and participation. He envisions a revitalized Colle Val d’Elsa where the younger generation can thrive without leaving their hometown.

The early months of his campaign have been emotionally rewarding for Alessio Vannetti. He believes in applying the collaborative and strategic practices he’s learned in global corporations to local governance. His approach emphasizes transparency, active citizen participation, and a commitment to improving the community’s quality of life.

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