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Success as much about hearts as soles

By Mark Graham ( China Daily ) Updated: 2013-10-20 08:04:42

Success as much about hearts as soles

Diego Della Valle, president and CEO of the Italian leather goods company, Tod's. Below: Tod's shoes, in many different colors and styles, are a favored weekend footwear. Photos Provided to China Daily

Hard-working hedonist Diego Della Valle, who presides over the Italian luxury label Tod's, remains cognizant of his company's obligation to give back to the community. Mark Graham reports.

It would take tycoon Diego Della Valle quite some time to complete a detailed stock-take of the extravagant luxury items in his personal portfolio.

There is the Gulfstream private jet used for shuttling between continents, and for making city hops between Beijing, Shanghai and Tokyo when in this part of the world; the five personalized Ferrari sports cars; the five homes in different cities; the vineyard; the family-owned football club in Tuscany and the sleek motor boat once owned by none other than former US president John F. Kennedy.

Della Valle chuckles when asked about his indulgences but makes no apologies for enjoying the fruits of his lifetime's labors. The Tod's boss is a hedonist and a hard worker, who built the Italian label up to major international brand status and has no compunction about enjoying the vast wealth that has come his way.

Yet he also says there is an obligation for companies such as Tod's to give back to the community, looking after the workforce well and dispensing money to charity. An example of the Italian putting his money where his mouth was came recently, when he pledged 25 million euros ($34 million) to help restore the famous Colosseum in Rome, the magnificent arena once used to stage to-the-death shows between gladiators and, on occasion, fierce animals such as lions and bears.

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