I havenít heard anyone talking of Olivetti any more. Whatís happened to it? Does it still exist? Camillo Olivetti, a young engineer, the founder, went off to the United States at the end of 1800. On his return he designed the best typewriter in the world.
Camillo spent his Sundays with his workers. He built a city for them ready for real people. He was years ahead in terms of Trades Union gains. A utopia that was then continued by his son Adriano. In the 1980s Olivetti was competing at a world level with IBM, HP, Bull. It had research laboratories in California. It had sites everywhere.
Thousands of technicians and engineers. To say that today seems to be dreaming with eyes open. But it happened yesterday. Only yesterday. What is Olivetti today? Who is the director? What does it produce?
How many employees does it have? Why does the world of politics never talk about it? Just as it takes no interest in the development of Information Technology apart from sfilatecarnevalate {streams of people like at a carnival} at the SMAU {ICT Fair} in Milan once a year.
If Olivetti, (one of the few Italian companies whose brand name is still well known in the world), is dead then it should have a funeral. A State Funeral. With magnificent pomp. To remember a grand Italian and some who were less grand and ditched it. And so that the funeral can be an occasion for reflecting on the future.
If what we want are bridges, supermarkets, roads, viaducts, sidewalks, tar, bricks, car parks, the only future that is understandable for this sub-species of politicians and industrialists. If this is what we want, then letís bury together with Olivetti also the technological development of our country. However it should be done officially. At least that much is owed to Olivetti.

Posted by Beppe Grillo at 10:26 AM in | Comments (11)
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At the end of 2008 Olivetti is mentioned by italian media only as the paradigmatic example of how a bad company can spill money from the government, in this way everything is done for Alitalia is justified.Do you think is what the Olivetti brand deserve?

Posted by: elisa minati | October 3, 2008 02:59 PM

Alex, your post proves my point even more. If you have to become Sherlock Holmes to find the retailers that carry Olivetti's products,this Company is doomed for sure!

Posted by: Enrico Rossi | November 19, 2006 09:27 PM

Enrico - I had a look at the 'dove aquistare' section and after a little messing and I found a long list of shops in Lombardy which stock Olivetti products.

Posted by: Alex R | November 19, 2006 10:30 AM

The Olivetti Site made me laugh. Under "Dove acquistare" there isn't even one sales outlet indicated. This Company is now a joke.

Posted by: Enrico Rossi | November 18, 2006 04:16 AM

vanni - thanks for the link - I had a look. Olivetti does a good line of calculators....

They even have laptops - but the details seem very sparse. My impression is that it's almost as if they don't really expect to sell anything. Odd.

Posted by: Alex R | November 17, 2006 11:48 PM

why wnder about Olivetti. just go here:

Posted by: vanni di ponzano | November 17, 2006 10:38 PM

yeah, what happened to Olivetti?

I haven't heard of them for ages, and i work for the biggest manufactures in the world probably (Intel), and never had a contact with one of them.
What surprise me the most is that all big italians name are abroad doing great things becuase our country it's all a joke.
Do you guys know that Intel Chief comes from an italian family? Paul Otellini.
I really hope one day to see a change for our country....... C'mon let's do something.

Posted by: mario carassale | November 17, 2006 11:18 AM

What was the role of Carlo De Benedetti in all this?

Posted by: Enrico Rossi | November 16, 2006 04:45 PM

Yes, Olivetti is something of a mystery - from world class brand to an almost forgotten sub-brand of god knows who in two shakes of a wand. You can still buy Olivetti printers and faxes - but there is little or no advertising. Makes you wonder if they even have a marketing department - or is the whole thing just one big tax write-off?

While we are on about this, what ever happened to Marconi? I suspect it has become the sub-sub-brand of some large telecoms conglomerate????

Posted by: Alex | November 16, 2006 01:22 PM

In 2003 there were 1,755 people working for Olivetti. I wonder how many of them are still employed. I bet they are all eating with chop sticks now!

Posted by: Enrico Rossi | November 15, 2006 03:25 PM

Dearest blokes,

I was wondering where the heck Olivetti ended up to nowadays, why it completely disappereared from any news or speech. Therefore I entered Wikipedia and instantly it all made sense.

Quoting from Wiki:
īThe Luxembourg-based company Bell S.A. acquired a controlling stake in Olivetti in 1999, but sold it to a consortium including the Pirelli and Benetton groups two years later. In 2003 Olivetti was absorbed into the Telecom Italia group, maintaining a separate identity as Olivetti Tecnost.ī

Surprisingly enough (or not?) Tronchetti&Co. appeared again, faithful to their names and abilities to fagocitate enterprises and make them disappeared from the market.

Cheers from Brazil,

Posted by: Luigi | November 15, 2006 02:02 PM

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