Pasquale Natuzzi, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of the Natuzzi Group, was very young when he started his career. The son of a cabinet-maker, at just 19 years of age he opened a workshop in Taranto with three collaborators, producing sofas and armchairs for the local market.
In 1962 he moved to Matera where he began to gain commercial experience, giving him in-depth knowledge of the difficulties and mechanisms of distribution.
In 1967, still in Matera, Pasquale Natuzzi returned to his first love: the production of sofas and armchairs, this time on an industrial scale.
In 1972 he founded Natuzzi Salotti S.r.l. One year later, following a fire that completely destroyed the Matera factory, Pasquale Natuzzi decided to relocate production to Santeramo in Colle (Bari – Italy), which is the modern-day headquarter of the Group.
At the beginning of the ‘80s, during a trip to the USA, Pasquale Natuzzi intuitively spotted an opportunity to carry out a radical change of direction: “democratising” the leather sofa, once a product for an elite niche.
In 1985 Natuzzi Upholstery Inc. was established, based in New York, a company especially designed for the needs of its North American clients.
The successes achieved in the USA, confirmed by flotation on Wall Street in May 1993, drove Natuzzi on to conquer other markets, mainly in Europe and the Far East, where the Group confirmed its leadership within a short space of time.
In 1998, further confirmation of the Group’s strong ties with the American market was given by the inauguration in High Point (North Carolina) of a futuristic-looking building, designed by the architect Mario Bellini, housing the offices of Natuzzi Americas, with over 60 employees and a huge showroom measuring 8,000 square metres.
With North American expansion continuing, the Group then went on to strengthen its presence both in Europe and in Italy. The Nineties saw the opening in Taranto, on Pasquale Natuzzi’s initiative, of the first shop in the franchising chain Divani & Divani by Natuzzi. The chain’s success is confirmed by the presence of 298 Natuzzi stores worldwide (mainly in Italy, Greece, Spain, Portugal, France, Switzerland, China, Australia, and USA) and 429 Natuzzi Galleries, mainly in the United States and Northern Europe.
Today, with the same passion as ever, Pasquale Natuzzi personally oversees strategic activities relating to strengthening the brand with investments in product innovation and research, marketing, communication and staff training, working alongside the Group’s managers to define future strategies.
This constant effort and commitment, with the aim of growth for the company, its collaborators and the region has been rewarded by an Honorary Degree in Education Science, conferred in December 2001 by the University of Bari.
In 2008 Pasquale Natuzzi was inducted into the American Furniture Hall of Fame. He was the first international recipient of the honour.
In 2010, in Milan, on the occasion of China Awards 2010, the Italy-China Foundation awarded the Natuzzi Group with the Capital Elite prize, as the best evidence of Made in Italy in China.
In 2011 Pasquale Natuzzi has been honored with the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Anti-Defamation League for distinguished himself with creative work to improve, enhance and benefit relationships among partners, vendors and employees.
After more than fifty years of challenges and intuitions, the Natuzzi Group is the top Italian producer for interior design, with 6 factories operating in Italy and 5 around the world (China, Brazil and Romania), turnover of 518,6 million Euros (as of 31st December 2010) and 6.807 employees.
Pasquale Natuzzi today lives in Santeramo, is married, and is the father of five children.