It is with great sadness that Steel Times International announces the passing of Gianpietro Benedetti, aged 81, the driving force, the head honcho, the man at the top and, indeed, the face of Danieli.

Gianpietro, a larger than life character and a regular and much loved presence in the global steel industry was always a friendly and familiar face for those of us who regularly attend the big calendar events around the world.

His 'endless' passion for work and innovation profused for more than 60 years and, along with more than 80 registered patents can be considered the most tangible assets he left behind.

Gianpietro's career started under the Danieli flag in 1961 as a designer in the company's technical office for long-product rolling mills and continued as a project engineer, and then plant start-up engineer.

He became manager of the rolling mill process and roll pass design offices in 1968 and director of Research and Development in 1976. By 1982 he was sales director and then he was appointed Danieli Group managing director in 1986. In 1990 he ascended to group president and CEO and from October 2003 drove the company as chairman of the board of directors of the Danieli Group and was later appointed chairman of the executive board.

Since 1994, Gianpietro was also a member of the board of directors of steelmaker Acciaierie Bertoli Safau SpA, since 1994.

Backed by an extraordinary vision, Gianpietro Benedetti impressed his ideas upon the Group and the Industry, which led to an ongoing transformation process, establishing a path for continuous growth.

Benedetti received honorary degrees from three different universities in mechanical engineering, management dngineering, and international business between 2010 and 2018.

His passion for art and his sense of social responsibility led to several significant restoration projects across the Danieli homeland.

With strong beliefs towards the regional education system, he launched and developed several scholarship and international university programmes, including Danieli’s own educational projects.

In June 2006, the National Order of Chivalry made Gianpietro Benedetti a knight of the Order of Merit of the Italian Republic. In 2018, in recognition of his leadership in steelmaking technology and plant building, he received the Tadeusz Sendzimir Memorial Medal from the AIST association in the USA.

The endless casting-rolling process conceived and developed by Benedetti is revolutionizing long and flat steel production worldwide, in the most effective, competitive, green way.

Honouring the memory of its chairman, the Danieli Team is fully committed to pursuing Gianpietro’s vision with the passion for work and innovation he profused over the decades.

Matthew Moggridge, editor of Steel Times International, writes: On a personal note, I have had the extreme good fortune meeting with Gianpietro Benedetti on many occasions and have always found him to be engaging, intelligent and uplifting.

Most recently I interviewed Gianpietro in his offices in Buttrio, Italy. The article spans six and a half pages and covers a great deal of ground, all of which will remain required reading for anybody looking to understand the legend that was Gianpietro Benedetti. It was published as the cover story in the October 2023 print edition of Steel Times International with, I must say, a very fetching photograph adorning the front cover.