The ceramic industry has lost one of its best known and most influential figures following the recent death of Mapei’s Giorgio Squinzi, who passed away on Wednesday 2nd October following a sudden worsening of a long-term illness. As founder of the Mapei Group, Squinzi was one of the most influential figures in the sector, contributing greatly to the growth and success of ceramic tiles world-wide.
Born in 1943, he graduated in Industrial Chemistry from the State University of Milan. He was Chairman of Confindustria Ceramica from 2012 to 2016, a member of the Board of Directors of Banca d’Italia, and twice Chairman of Federchimica. For ten years he was also the owner of the Mapei-Quick Step cycling team, Sassuolo Calcio FC, and the club’s ground, the Mapei Stadium in Reggio Emilia.
Supported by his wife Adriana Spazzoli and, more recently, by his children Veronica and Marco, Squinzi devoted his entire working life to Mapei, which was founded in 1937 by his father Rodolfo. He was Chairman of Mapei Group, a leading company in the field of building chemicals, with operations spanning 35 countries. With 81 factories and 31 R&D laboratories, and a workforce of 10,500 world-wide, Mapei Group was a giant of the sector, posting revenues of around Euro 2.5 billion in 2018.
In recognition of his love for the city of Milan, in 1996 the Mayor, Marco Formentini, presented him with the city’s highest honour, the Ambrogino d’Oro. He also had a lifelong passion for music and since 2016 had been a member of the board of directors of the Teatro alla Scala opera house. He also received many official awards, from an honorary degree in Chemical Engineering from the Polytechnic University of Milan to the Premio Leonardo Qualità Italia conferred by former Italian President Giorgio Napolitano. Squinzi was a Cavaliere del Lavoro in Italy and a Commandeur dell’Ordre de la Couronne in Belgium. Squinzi and his wife were also among the founders of Tile Italia, the well-respected Italian ceramic tile magazine.
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