Giuseppe Viriglio



Telespazio SpA, Rome, Italy

Mr. Giuseppe Viriglio graduated in Aerospace Engineering from Politecnico di Torino University in 1971. He then completed a Master’s in Business Administration at Turin University, as well as a number of technical and scientific specialisation courses in Europe and the US.

He joined FIAT in 1971, before moving to the newly formed AERITALIA. Between 1973 and 1976, he was involved in the SPACELAB programme, the first European programme for pressurised modules, initially as head of Project Control and later as head of the programme and other associated programmes.

In 1980, he was put in charge of the management of all of AERITALIA’s space programmes, before becoming Director of Programmes in 1984 and Vice Director of the Space Systems Group in 1988. During this time, he was heavily involved with the scientific community charged with developing the equipment and scientific satellite missions for which Alenia was responsible.

In 2000, he was appointed interim General Manager and CEO of ALENIA SPAZIO SpA. ALENIA SPAZIO SpA was formed to gather together all the activities of Finmeccanica SpA in the space and stratospheric systems sector, and the company took over the activities relating to Finmeccanica’s Space division, which had been operating as part of Alenia Aerospazio. Alenia Spazio became the largest company in Italy, with turnover of EUR 2000 billion and links to the most important companies in Europe and around the world. Alenia Spazio headed up or played a prominent role in a plethora of international programmes, including the International Space Station, space exploration, scientific research, global telecommunication networks such as Globastar and Iridium, and global observation and recording systems. Alongside these programmes, significant advanced research activities were also developed into processing and managing data, not to mention micro-electronics and nano technology, which are connected to the construction of aerospace infrastructure. This enabled Alenia Spazio to position itself among the leaders in European research, with hundreds of patents filed during the period.

In 2004, he was appointed Vice Chairman of ALENIA SPAZIO SpA and Associate CEO of GALILEO INDUSTRIES, a company created in co-operation with the major European industries for the development of the European navigation system.

In June 2004, he left ALENIA SPACE to head up Industrial Programmes and Relations with the European Union at the European Space Agency (ESA) in Paris, where he also took on the role of co-ordinating research both at ESA and for joint programmes with the European Commission. In this capacity, he gave the green light for important Commission programmes such as the GALILEO satellite navigation programme, broadband telecommunication systems and observation systems linked to the GMES programme, which are currently nearing completion.

At the end of 2008 he rejoined Finmeccanica, taking on roles such as Chairman and member of the Board of Directors of major companies and consortia.

He has many publications on the economic, managerial and political aspects of the space sector to his name.

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