Ducati officially confirmed the rumors today that Gabriele Del Torchio (left in above photo) will be leaving his position as CEO of Ducati Motor Holding, and will be replaced by company stalwart Claudio Domenicali (right in photo). Several European business media outlets had reported yesterday that Del Torchio had been in talks to head struggling Alitalia Airlines, the national airline of Italy that has been hanging by a financial thread for many years after continual problems that eventually resulted in a bankruptcy filing in August of 2008. Alitalia announced Del Torchio’s appointment as CEO at the same time as Ducati’s press release.
Domenicali has been with Ducati 21 years, and has played a very influential role in the company’s direction. Among other achievements, Domenicali was widely credited with helping former general manager Massimo Bordi bring his acclaimed Supermono single-cylinder racebike from concept to reality. Domenicali took over as head of the Ducati Corse racing department in 1999, helping guide it to numerous World Superbike championships. He has since been steadily moving upward in the company ranks, becoming R&D director in 2005, and being appointed General Manager of Operations and Product Development four years later.
Domenicali’s appointment also puts to rest speculation by some of the media that Audi (owners of Ducati) would be moving yet another German into a management position at the Bologna firm. Much of this was based on former MotoGP director Fillipo Preziosi being replaced by former BMW Superbike director Bernhard Gobmeier late last year.