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Pirelli & C. S.p.A.
Type Società per azioni
Traded as BIT: PC
Industry auto and parts
Founded 1872
Founders Giovanni Battista Pirelli
Headquarters Milan, Italy
Area served Worldwide
Key people
Products Car, Moto, Industrial Tyres
Revenue 6,146 billion (2013)[2]
Operating income € 791 million (2013)[2]
Profit € 306.5 million (2013)[2]
Total assets € 7,360 million (2013)[2]
Total equity € 2,436 million (2013)[2]
Employees 37,979 (2013)[2]
Subsidiaries Pirelli Tyre S.p.A

Pirelli & C. SpA is a multinational company based in Milan, Italy, listed on Milan Stock Exchange since 1922.[3] The company, the world’s fifth-largest tyre manufacturer behind Bridgestone, Michelin, Continental and Goodyear, is present in over 160 countries, has 21 manufacturing sites[4] around the world and a network of around 10,000 distributors and retailers.[5][6]

Pirelli has been sponsoring sport competitions since 1907 and is currently the exclusive tyre supplier for the Formula One Championship for 2011-2016[7] and for the FIM World Superbike Championship.[8]

While tyre manufacturing represents 99% of Pirelli’s revenue,[9][10] the company has also launched fashion project PZero, a high-tech sportswear brand,[11] and operates in renewable energy and sustainable mobility through Pirelli Prodotti e Servizi per l’Ambiente.

Pirelli has published its Pirelli Calendar since 1964, which has featured the contribution of famous photographers over the years. The 2013 edition was commissioned to war photographer Steve McCurry.[12]

Pirelli’s headquarters are located in Milan’s Bicocca district, an area that is home to the rapidly growing Italian University, Università degli studi di Milano-Bicocca, and cultural locations such as the Teatro degli Arcimboldi and Hangar Bicocca, an exhibition centre for contemporary art that Pirelli founded.


  • History 1
  • Corporate affairs 2
    • Major shareholders 2.1
    • Board of directors 2.2
  • Financial information 3
  • Marketing 4
  • Sponsorship 5
    • Soccer 5.1
    • Formula One 5.2
    • Rally 5.3
  • Motorsport 6
  • Overseas investment 7
  • See also 8
  • References 9
  • External links 10


Pirelli headquarters

Founded in Milan in 1872 by Giovanni Battista Pirelli, Pirelli initially specialised in rubber and derivative processes, and the company formerly made scuba diving rebreathers.[13] Effectively, Pirelli's activities are still primarily focused on the production of tyres and cables (for energy and telecommunications). In 2005, Pirelli sold its cable division to Goldman Sachs, which changed the new group's name to Prysmian.

In the 1950s, Alberto Pirelli commissioned the building of a famous Milanese skyscraper in the same area that housed the very first Pirelli factory during the 19th century: see Pirelli Tower.[14]

In 1974, Pirelli invented the "wide radial tyre", upon a request from the Lancia rally racing team for a tyre strong enough to withstand the power of the new Lancia Stratos. At that time, racing tyres were either slick tyres made with the cross ply technique (very wide tyres with a reduced sidewall height), or radial tyres, which were too narrow to withstand the Stratos' power and did not provide enough grip. Both were unusable for the Lancia Stratos, as the radials were destroyed within 10 km, and the slicks too stiff. Lancia asked Pirelli for a solution, and in 1975 Pirelli created a wide tyre with a reduced sidewall height like a slick, but with a radial structure.

Subsequently, Porsche started using the same tyres with the award-winning Porsche 911 Turbo.

In 2002 the company started a range of Pirelli branded clothing, watches and eyewear.[15]

Corporate affairs

Major shareholders

The list of Pirelli main shareholders[16][17]

Shareholder Stake %
Camfin S.p.A 26.19%
Malacalza Investimenti 6.98%
Mediobanca S.p.A. 4.61%
Edizione Srl 4.61%
Harbor International Fund 3.49%
Ruane, Cunniff & Goldfarb 1.99%
Other foreign Institutional Investors 37.29%
Retail Investors 10.12%
Italian Institutional Investors 4.26%

As of July 2014

Board of directors

The list of Pirelli Board of Directors:[18][19]

Position Name
Chairman and CEO - from 7 May 2003 Marco Tronchetti Provera
Deputy Chairman - from 7 May 2003 Alberto Pirelli
Independent Director Anna Maria Artoni
Director Didier Casimiro
Independent Director Ivan Glasenberg
Independent Director Andrei Kostin
Director Petr Lazarov
Independent Director Elisabetta Magistretti
Director Jean Paul Fitoussi
Director Pietro Guindani
Director Elisabetta Magistretti
Director Gaetano Micciché
Independent Director Paolo Pietrogrande
Independent Director Luigi Roth
Director Igor Sechin
Independent Director Manuela Soffientini
Director Igor Soglaev

As of July 2014.

Financial information

Financial Data [20] 2013 (million €) 2012 (million €) 2011 (million €) 2010 (million €) 2009

(million €)

Net Sales 6,146 6,072 5,655 4,848 4,067
Gross Operating Profit 1,080 1,064 (restated) 807 629 453
EBIT 791 792 (restated) 582 408 250
Net Income 306 398 441 4 (23)
Net Invested Capital 4,455 4,427 3,727 3,281 3,818
Equity 2,437 2,389 2,192 2,028 2,495
Employees 37,979 37,338 34,259 29,573 29,570


The Pirelli Calendar is published annually, and regularly features famous actresses and fashion models. The calendar also features the work of many of the most respected fashion photographers in the world, including Herb Ritz, Richard Avedon, Mert & Marcus, Peter Lindbergh, Annie Leibovitz, and Patrick Demarchelier.

The Pirelli Internetional Award is given annually for the best international multimedia involving the communication of science and technology conducted entirely on the Internet.

"Power is nothing without control" is the well known slogan of Pirelli Tyre Company, and is featured in numerous television and print advertisements.

Pirelli is the long-serving main sponsor of Italian football club F.C. Internazionale Milano, having sponsored the Italian team since the 1995–96 season.



Pirelli has a history of sponsoring soccer teams. Pirelli is well known for its long term primary sponsorship of the Italian soccer team Internazionale. Pirelli previously appeared as a sponsor on the shirts of the Maltese soccer club Valletta for a short time. Pirelli's sponsorship of soccer teams not only happens in Europe, South America is a key market and as a result successful clubs South America have been sponsored by the tyre company. The Brazilan team Palmeiras, Uruguayan team Peñarol and Argentinian side Vélez Sársfield both had Pirelli as a shirt sponsor. When English Football League Two side Burton Albion Football Club built their new stadium in 2005, Pirelli became the title sponsor the new ground. This was because the new stadium, named Pirelli Stadium lies next to the Pirelli factory in Burton-upon-Trent, Staffordshire, England. In 2009 Pirelli became the title sponsor of the Chinese Super League (CSL), China's top tier soccer league.Pirelli,From 1 September 2014, is also Cürebalspor Pirelli team name,will arm and tire sponsorship for four years

Formula One

Pirelli is currently the event title sponsor of the 2014 Spanish and Hungarian Grand Prix.


Pirelli also supports rally with their FIM World Superbike Championship since 2007 (along with its support classes, such as the Supersport World Championship). Pirelli has also been awarded the contract for the control tyre supply in the British Superbike Championship from 2008 until at least 2010.[21] Pirelli were also the official tyre supplier of the World Rally Championship replacing BF Goodrich for the 2008 season, with all cars using Pirelli tyres and wearing Pirelli decals until the company withdrew to focus on its Formula 1 commitments at the end of the 2010 season. Pirelli returned to the championship in 2014, however they only supply tyres for a few private teams as Michelin is the major tyre supplier.

Pirelli is the sole tyre supplier in Formula One, following Bridgestone's decision to withdraw from the role at the end of 2010.[22][23][24] Pirelli previously competed in Formula One from 19501958, 19811986 and 19891991.

Controversy surrounded Pirelli's Formula 1 tyres as at the 2013 British Grand Prix seven Pirelli tyres failed: Pérez twice, Alonso, Hamilton, Gutierrez, Vergne, and Massa. Following a safety car period drivers were instructed to stay off the kerbs that were later found to be "razor sharp" and may have been the cause, but the president of the British Racing Drivers' Club rejected the idea that the kerbs could be at fault, saying that "These kerbs have been in since 2009 and we have had thousands and thousands of cars go over these kerbs and they have been absolutely fine".[25] The incidents were described as "unacceptable" by F1 drivers.[26] It was later suggested that the cause of the tyre failures could be the teams putting them on the wrong side of the car. Pirelli stressed that the tyres are of an asymmetrical construction and are not interchangeable, and that if they are used correctly, they do not pose a threat to safety.[27] However, the fault was ultimately found to be in Pirelli's design of the tyres so Pirelli changed the construction of the tyres to prevent further incidents.

Pirelli suffered further tyre problems at the 2013 Belgian Grand Prix. During the second practice two tyres failed: Vettel and Alonso. One senior figure at Pirelli described the failures as a "big concern", whilst Pirelli's motorsport director Paul Hembery admitted the tyre failures were "a worry for the sport".[28] Following these issues, just one day later Michelin announced that they could replace Pirelli as the tyre supplier for 2014. In October 2013 Fernando Alonso complained that "the quality of the tyres is very on the limit", and that they "will not do 5km". Pirelli motorsport director Paul Hembery said: "Of course Alonso is one of the great F1 drivers, so to hear such comments is disappointing and below the standards you would expect from such a champion.[29] In the Korean Grand Prix Pérez locked a front tyre heavily and then suffered a dramatic failure on the subsequent long straight.[30] Pirelli hit controversy at the Indian Grand Prix where they requested the teams run the tyres a limited number of laps due to their fragility. One senior engineer at a top team said this was the worst blistering ever experienced.[31]

In pre-season testing for the 2014 season the tyre on Rosberg's car failed, sending Rosberg into a 200mph spin.[32] The incident prompted considerable alarm, and Pirelli stated that the tyre "will not be proposed again".[33] In January 2014, it was revealed that Pirelli had signed a contract with the FIA to supply tyres to Formula One for the 2014, 2015 and 2016 seasons.[34] The Pirelli 2014 wet tyre was criticised by Adrian Sutil as "the worst I have driven" and Jenson Button "twitchy" and "they take away that grip that they gave you".[35] Later in 2014 Lewis Hamilton described the Pirelli wet weather tyres as "They're not great tyres. That's no secret".[36]

Year Official test drivers
2010 Nick Heidfeld
Pedro de la Rosa
2011 Pedro de la Rosa
Lucas di Grassi
2012 Lucas di Grassi
Jaime Alguersuari

Overseas investment

In April 2012, Pirelli & C. SpA signed joint venture agreement with Indonesian counterpart PT Astra Autoparts a subsidiary of PT Astra International for the construction of a motorcycle tire plant with a total investment of $120 million. 60 percent shares will be held by Pirelli. Pirelli hoped to strengthen its presence in the largest motorcycle market in the world, the Southeast Asia region which has 250 million motorcycles.[37]

In 2012, the company become a major sponsor of the Russian Cup.

See also


  1. ^ "Board of Directors". Pirelli. Retrieved 5 June 2013. 
  2. ^ a b c d e f "Annual Report 2013". Pirelli & C. 
  3. ^ "Pirelli Company Profile". Borsa Italiana. Retrieved 21 February 2013. 
  4. ^ "Pirelli". Retrieved 15 July 2014. 
  5. ^ "Pirelli puts corporate governance plan into action". World Finance. Retrieved 21 February 2013. 
  6. ^ "Pirelli Company Profile". Pirelli. Retrieved 21 February 2013. 
  7. ^ "Pirelli confirms it will stay F1's official tire supplier through 2016". MotorSportsTalks. Retrieved 15 July 2014. 
  8. ^ "Pirelli supply wsbk tyres". Yahoo sport. Retrieved 21 February 2013. 
  9. ^ "Pirelli in 2011: sales up revenue way up". Modern tire dealer. Retrieved 21 February 2013. 
  10. ^ "Pirelli the board of directors approves consolidated financial statements". Pirelli. Retrieved 21 February 2013. 
  11. ^ "The Pirelli PZero project". Motorcycle. Retrieved 21 February 2013. 
  12. ^ Coman, Julian (30 December 2012). "Pirelli calendar turns over a new leaf with war photographer Steve McCurry". London: The Guardian. Retrieved 21 February 2013. 
  13. ^ Coates, JK; Kincaid, TC; Lanphier, EH (1952). "Evaluation of the Pirelli Underwater Oxygen Breathing Equipment for Use in the Naval Service.".  
  14. ^ Skyscrapers, Antonino Terranova, White Star Publishers, 2003 (ISBN 8880952307)
  15. ^ official website
  16. ^ "Shareholders Structure". Pirelli. Retrieved 15 July 2014. 
  17. ^ "Borsa Italiana". Pirelli. Retrieved 25 October 2013. 
  18. ^ "Pirelli Board of Directors". Pirelli. Retrieved 15 July 2014. 
  19. ^ "Pirelli Corporate Governance". Borsa Italiana. Retrieved 5 June 2013. 
  20. ^ "Annual Report 2013". Pirelli & C. 
  21. ^ British Superbikes 2007
  22. ^ "Bridgestone to Cease Tire Supply to the FIA Formula One World Championship".  
  23. ^ "World Motor Sport Council: 23 June 2010".  
  24. ^ Collantine, Keith (23 June 2010). "Pirelli return to F1 after 20-year absence". F1 Fanatic (Keith Collantine). Retrieved 23 June 2010. 
  25. ^
  26. ^
  27. ^
  28. ^
  29. ^
  30. ^
  31. ^
  32. ^
  33. ^ Sky Sports . 
  34. ^ Autosport. 16 January 2014 . 
  35. ^
  36. ^
  37. ^ "Indonesia welcomes Pirelli, Italian touch for local shoes". 25 April 2012. 

External links

  • Official website
  • Pirelli Tyres Worldwide
  • Yahoo! Pirelli & C. SpA Company Profile
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