Palfinger has appointed Marcello Fortunato as the new managing director of Palfinger Platforms Italy and announced the full integration of the company into the Palfinger group. Both moves follow the resignation of Paolo Balugani earlier this month - see: Balugani to leave Palfinger.
A statement from the company said: “The Italian market is the single most important market in this very segment. To further strengthen this excellent position Palfinger has started a realignment in its aerial work platform product line as well as of its Italian set up.”
Marcello Fortunato will add his new duties to his current role as vice president global sales & operations planning, which he took up when he began working full time for Palfinger in 2019, following a year as an independent consultant to the business. Prior to that he spent almost 14 years with Case New Holland (CNH) Industrial, having started out as a supply chain and logistics director initially for the group and then for New Holland, and was appointed senior director sales operations and planning in 2012.
He began his career in 1995 as an accountant working for an accounting firm in Turin. Everything changed in 1998 when he joined TNT Logistics, initially in Italy as business control manager for the southern Europe region, progressing through various increasingly senior roles, before transferring to the Netherlands in 1999. Then, in 2002, he was appointed as chief financial officer for TNT France, leaving for CNH two years later.
Overall responsibility for product development - a role that Balugani has handled since 2019 - will pass to Gerald Pschernig, who has held a similar position in the loader crane division, having joined the business at the end of 2010.
Fortunato said: "Italy is a core market which deserves our total commitment. Together with our partners we shape the future."
Palfinger acquired the Italian business in 2013 when it acquired a majority stake in Sky Aces from Balugani and his colleagues. Although it immediately rebranded the business as Palfinger Platforms Italy, it never properly integrated the business into the Palfinger fold, in terms of web site and product line promotion etc... We assumed that Balugani’s appointment to a wider role in 2019 was a step to do that - but it never really happened. Whether that eventually caused this recent change, or not, we do not know. One assumes that Palfinger has now acquired all of the shares in the business but are waiting confirmation on this.