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New MD for Valla

Italian access industry veteran Paolo Balugani has officially taken up a position as a general manager of the pick & carry crane manufacturer Valla - Manitex, sister company to truck mount and spider lift manufacturer Oil & Steel and loader crane company PM. In his new role he reports to Giovanni Tacconi, chief executive of Manitex operations in Italy.

Balugani left his previous job as chief executive of Palfinger Platforms Italy, in Mid 2021, and was prevented from coming back into the industry for the following year by a non-compete clause, which has now expired. During the interim he has worked as an independent consultant, and began working as consultant for Manitex and Valla at the end of last year.
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Paolo Balugani

Manitex chief executive Michael Coffey said: “We are pleased to announce Paolo will be joining Manitex International to lead our electric industrial crane division, Manitex Valla. Paolo has over 32 years of experience in the crane and aerial platform industry, most recently serving as chief executive and co-founder of Palfinger Platform Italy. The addition of Paolo is an important step in our updated corporate strategic plan. His leadership, industry knowledge and operating experience will be critical in advancing our growth plans, which include bringing Valla’s line of electric industrial cranes to the North America market and developing and introducing new products to the global market.”

Balugani began his career in 1985 as a design engineer with Socage which was part of Fassi. After six years in that role he left to join PM - now a part of Manitex - as lead design engineer. In 1995 he was one of team - along with Fiorenzo Flisi, M Piantoni and R Valentini - that founded spider and truck mounted lift manufacturer Oil & Steel. Over the next 16 years he and his partners built the company into a substantial business on the global access stage, pioneering the spider lift concept.
In 2003 Oil & Steel was acquired by PM and Balugani joined the PM board. In 2011 he left the company and set up SkyAces selling the business to Palfinger two years later.

Vertikal Comment

Given his history Paolo Balugani certainly knows his way around PM and Oil & Steel. He also made a good job of working within Palfinger in the years after it acquired his business, building Palfinger Italia into a dynamic company in terms of new product development, while expanding production to keep up with demand from the Palfinger network. He will also bring a pair of fresh eyes to Valla which has been reasserting its market position over the past few years. This looks like a good move for both parties.


Congratulations, Paolo. Wish you every success and fulfillment in this new position.

Still one of the best leaders I've met. Keep up the good work!

Feb 19, 2023