Coesia (A): Choosing an Operating Model to Support Its Transformation Journey
Coesia was a privately owned group of industrial companies based in Bologna, Italy. The group went through a two-phase transformation journey when Isabella Ser gnoli became the full owner of the group. One of her first decisions was to name it Coesia, to symbolize cohesion and shared values among the group companies. Her vision was to build a professionally managed, value-driven, sufficiently diversified global group that would be sustainable in the long term. In 2010, Ser gnoli hired a non-Italian newcomer to the industry, Angelos Papadimitriou, as CEO. Six weeks into his tenure, Papadimitriou presented to the board an aggressive ambition of doubling the business by 2015. Achieving this ambition would require a second phase of transformation in terms of strategy, business model and organization. At that time, only one group company, G.D, was truly global. G.D. accounted for 62% of the group's revenues and 99% of its profits. However, it faced some market challenges and potential risks to its future profitability. Papadimitriou and his leadership team would have to develop an overall strategy to build a more balanced, diversified and global group while strengthening G.D. Coesia operated as a loose federation of independent companies each with its own structure, functions and processes. Aside from reshaping the strategy, the group would have to design a business model and an organizational structure to support its ambition of becoming a larger, more global group.