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issue: June 2005 APPLIANCE Magazine

People
Davide Milone of Indesit Company


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Davide Milone describes himself as a “curious” person, a characteristic that has not only proved to be a valuable asset to his career, but to the companies for which he works.

Davide Milone of Indesit

As a young engineering graduate, Mr. Milone jump-started his career by joining the Fiat Group, one of Europe’s leading car manufacturers. Quickly after joining the company, he decided to pursue his MBA. “At that time, I was interested in learning everything,” Mr. Milone remembers. “I am still trying to learn everything I can from my experiences.”

After completing his graduate work, he quickly advanced throughout the company. At a mere 24 years of age, Mr. Milone was asked to be involved in one of Fiat’s major platform development projects, working along side 14 seasoned engineers that were almost twice his age. To prepare himself for the challenge, Mr. Milone took on additional technical courses and listened closely to his experienced colleagues, soaking up as much knowledge as he possibly could.

Little did he know how valuable that knowledge would be. In 1994, Mr. Milone joined Italian appliance maker Indesit Company, which at the time was known as Merloni Elettrodomestici. Although he started out running the appliance company’s laboratories, Mr. Milone was promoted in 1997 to R&D manager of Washing Machine Products and oversaw the complete reshaping of Indesit’s washing machine platform, which has become a benchmark of the company’s industrial strategy and product development process. Mr. Milone’s prior experience at Fiat proved to be very useful, as did many of the management techniques he learned there.

“I was very lucky to have a manager at Fiat that trusted me to do everything I wanted to do,” Mr. Milone says, adding that he uses the same philosophy today with his staff. “As long as an employee shows that he or she has the potential, then I can delegate and give them the freedom to try something new.”
In 2000, Mr. Milone had the opportunity to try something new when he transferred from Indesit’s engineering side to marketing, which he says helped him to understand the products “in a deeper way” and gave him a broader perspective of the company. “This can be very powerful,” he says. “It was very important when I was meeting our clients to tell them that I was the R&D manager and that I knew exactly what we did during the development process and what we were truly delivering to the consumer.”

Although he enjoyed his 2 years as Corporate Marketing Freestanding manager, Mr. Milone has now moved on to Indesit’s next strategic project—the dishwasher segment. As director of the Dishwasher Business Unit, Mr. Milone’s main responsibility is to grow Indesit’s dishwasher business. Part of the strategy includes what Indesit refers to as the “China Project,” which involves a new joint venture with Little Swan, one of China’s leading appliance makers. “This is not only a dishwasher project,” Mr. Milone explains. “It will be a company project because China has a different approach to business. It is not only about cost. There are many things that we can learn in doing business with Chinese companies.”

Even in his spare time, Mr. Milone enjoys studying various topics of interest, including classic literature. He also enjoys playing tennis and going to the gym.

 

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