Andrea Illy is Chairman and CEO of illycaffè S.p.A., a family-established business founded in Trieste, Italy in 1933, with the singular mission of producing the world’s highest quality coffee.
He formally joined the company in 1990 as a quality supervisor. After studying best practices for quality in Japan, Andrea Illy developed illy’s groundbreaking Total Quality Program, which established standards for the company and coffee industry that are still in force today.
In 1995, one year after being named CEO, Andrea Illy’s comprehensive tract on coffee, co-authored with other experts in chemistry and agronomy, was published worldwide. Espresso Coffee: The Chemistry of Quality examines every major scientific and technological issue related to coffee and its preparation as espresso, its purest form. The book, published by Academic Press, is now in its second edition.
In 1996 he was named a “Marketing Superstar” by Advertising Age, the influential American magazine covering marketing and communication.
Since 1999, he has served as President of Paris-based Association Scientifique International du Cafè (A.S.I.C.), the premier international research organization for the global coffee industry. He has served on the executive board of Altagamma, a foundation dedicated to promoting the excellence of the Italian food industry, since 2001, and was appointed Vice President in 2009, and then President in 2013. From 2003 to 2006, was a member of the Advisory Board of SDA Bocconi.
In 2004, Andrea Illy was named “Imprenditore dell’Anno” (Businessman of the Year) by Ernst & Young Italia, and in 2005, shareholders appointed him Chairman of illycaffè.
In 2008 Andrea Illy co-founded Ilko Coffee International, a global joint venture of The Coca-Cola Company and illycaffé, focused on providing authentic illy coffee experiences through a range of ready to drink, high quality, espresso-based coffee beverages.
Following from Andrea Illy’s longtime leadership in sustainability, in 2011 illycaffè became the world’s first company to earn the Responsible Supply Chain Process certification from leading industrial standards arbiter Det Norske Veritas. That same year, he received the Alberto Falck Family Business award for international strategy, recognizing his dedication to innovation, quality and excellence.
In 2012, he was appointed Chairman of the Promotion and Market Development Committee of ICO (International Coffee Organization), under the auspices of the United Nations. Chief among his duties are promoting coffee consumption at the global level by communicating its positive values. That same year, he became member of the advisory board and chairman of the sustainability committee of the tea and coffee multinational D.E Master Blenders 1753, listed on the Amsterdam Stock Exchange.
Also in 2012, Andrea Illy joined the Reflection Group of LH Forum, the movement for a positive economy created by leading French economist Jacques Attali. The group’s mission is to persuade companies to view profit as means rather than an end in itself, taking into account the interests of the future generations.
In 2013 Andrea Illy was named an inaugural member of the Sustainable Business Leadership Council of Menus of Change, an initiative of the Culinary Institute of America and the Harvard School of Public Health created to develop a blueprint for healthy, responsible and profitable dining over the next half century. Also in 2013, Andrea Illy’s leadership in responsible business practices was recognized when illycaffè was named one of the World’s Most Ethical Companies by Ethisphere Institute, a leading international organization dedicated to the creation, advancement and sharing of best practices in business ethics, corporate social responsibility, anti-corruption and sustainability.
In the same year Andrea Illy was appointed top Advisor of the Bank of Italy, for the seat of Trieste.
He also served as a Mentor of the 2013 World Economic Forum in Davos, where he exchanged experiences and ideas on critical issues with individuals and organizations at the forefront of creating the future economy.
Andrea was born in Trieste, Italy in 1964. He earned a Master Executive degree from at SDA-Bocconi in Milan in 1993, and earned an advanced degree in chemistry from the University of Trieste in 1994. In 2012 he completed the Advanced Management Program at Harvard Business School and in 2014 the Executive Program at the Singularity University of Silicon Valley (California). He is married, and has three daughters.
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