Italy: Gain & Pain at E.N.I.

When swashbuckling Enrico Mattei was killed in a plane crash last year, the man who took over Italy's state oil monopoly was so old—72—that many Italians scoffingly dubbed him the "interim pope." But in one year on the job as chief of Ente Nazionale Idrocarburi (E.N.I.), Marcello Boldrini, a former professor of statistics, has proved as aggressively expansive as Mattei. Traveling from the Volga to the Congo, Boldrini has won a barrel of new business for E.N.I. and spearheaded Italian commercial penetration abroad.

Advancing in Africa. With two close aides who also had been cronies of Mattei—Eugenio Cefis,...

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