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Brunello Cucinelli recognized as the best boss in the world

Why American media believe everyone has something to learn from the Italian king of cashmere

Brunello Cucinelli recognized as the best boss in the world

Claudia Astarita

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According to the American magazine Drive, Brunello Cucinelli is "the greatest person on the planet to work for". Why? Very simple to answer: "the king of Italian cashmere makes his employees take a 90-minute break every day at 1 P.M., when many of them eat a subsidized lunch in the company cafeteria. (And this isn't your standard break room with tiled ceilings; it's an airy dining hall in an Italian castle.) They all leave at 5:30 on the dot, and Cucinelli tells them to try not to send any work-related e-mails after going home".

He believes that making people overwork means metaphorically stealing their soul, and he also thinks that to make employee work better, they need to get good salaries. Indeed, Mr Cucinelli is known for paying his employees about 20 percent more than the Italian manufacturing average.

Is this something you always though may happen only in fairy tales? Well, it seems in Italy, in the little town of Solomeo, where Brunello Cucinelli's headquarter is located, this is just "normal".

As he once explained during an interview with Bloomberg, "his employee-centered approach humanistic capitalism and traces it to his teenage years. He watched his father trade the family's life on a farm for more money in a factory, only to come home exhausted from a dark cement-making plant where colleagues mocked his peasant clothes. It was very repetitive, hard work. Very often, he'd be humiliated."

Life is all about finding the good balance, Mr Cucinelli is used to repeat. And it is difficult to deny that he managed to find a good balance for people living and working with him as well. His lives very closed to his factory, in a medieval castle he has restored. His "home" is surrounded by a "300-year-old frescoed church and classrooms he's built to teach young people arts from knitting to masonry. His next endeavor is plain to see from the terraces. He's tearing down six disused warehouses in the nearest valley to make way for a youth-sports stadium, vineyards and orchards". Since all his workers will be allowed to enjoy that, they will for sure stay with him for life.

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