Italian shipbuilder Fincantieri chairman death sends shockwaves in Italy

Claudio Graziano, the chairman of Fincantieri, one of the world’s largest shipbuilding groups, has died, the company confirmed in a statement on Monday.

The death of Claudio Graziano at the age of 71 sent shockwaves through the country’s political and business circles on Monday.

“We will miss many things about him but above all his kindness, attention and deep esteem for each person who with their work, daily, has made and continues to make our community an example of world excellence,” the group said in a statement in the social media, without providing any detail on the circumstances.

“I am shocked by the news of the tragic death of General Claudio Graziano,” Italy’s prime minister Giorgia Meloni said in a statement, describing him “an upright servant of the state”.

“An upright servant of the State leaves us, who throughout his life honored the Nation, the Armed Forces and the Institutions with dedication, competence and professionalism. I would like to extend, on my behalf and that of the entire Government, my condolences and closeness to his family and loved ones,” she added.

Italian Foreign Minister Antonio Tajani said Graziano’s death “leaves me speechless.”

“He was a friend and an extraordinary officer who also honoured Italy in his European roles,” the minister wrote on X, the social media platform, one of the many tributes that began pouring out as the news spread in Italy.

“A person who, in many different ways, chose to dedicate his entire life to serving our country and a Europe that he would have wanted to be increasingly united and able to speak with one voice. What you have taught us in these years will remain forever in the hearts and minds of each of us,” the company added in its statement on Monday.

Born in Turin in 1953, Claudio Graziano, was promoted in January 2010 to the rank of Army General, and in February of the same year, he was appointed Chief of Staff to the Minister of Defence. In October 2011, he was appointed Chief of Staff of the Army and subsequently promoted to the rank of General.

From February 2015 to November 2018, he was Chief of Defence Staff.

Appointed in November 2017, he served as Chairman of the European Union Military Committee from 6 November 2018 to 15 May 2022.

On May 16, 2022 he has been appointed Chairman of Fincantieri SpA and on September 28, 2022 Chairman of Assonave (Italian Shipbuilding Association).