As I’ve noted quite often of late, Ferrari’s Chairman of several decades, Luca di Montezemolo, is stepping down. There are very few personalities in the auto industry who occupy the special place that Montezemolo has for over 20 years. Some would say that he’s the last of his kind, his breed.
Last week, Ferrari released a video of Montezemolo’s farewell speech at Ferrari’s factory in Maranello, Italy. You won’t see this many red jumpsuits and this much fine Italian tailoring in one place ever again. You also won’t see this many tears shed for the guy who was effectively Ferrari’s King (and could, it’s been periodically speculated, run for high office in Italy, or take the helm at Alitalia, the Italian national airline).
Watch the whole thing — it’s quite moving, and you don’t need to understand Italian to understand what Montezemolo is telling the Ferrari family. It’s in the eyes, the tone of voice, the gestures.
You’ll notice toward the end, as Montezemolo makes his way back to his grey Ferrari to drive himself home that he actually signs his workers’ clothes. The only other business leader I’ve ever seen do anything even remotely like this was Steve Wozniak, who at an event we did together signed various Apple devices afterward.
Ferrari has been of a fantastic run since Montezemolo took over. That run will probably continue. But the Montezemolo Era is now definitively over. And while he isn’t exactly going gentle into that good night, he is departing with a lot of class and leaving an impressive legacy.
Here’s the entire video:
And a longer version, with more weeping:
Business Insider Emails & Alerts
Site highlights each day to your inbox.