Enrico Mattei: man of the future

Enrico Mattei

Eni's founder

Man of the future

A valuable legacy

Enrico Mattei, Eni’s founder, was a key figure in the history of post-war Italy. His work to develop the country and get its economy back on an even keel had an impact that can still be felt today.


  • Biography

    From errand boy to company founder

    A talent for business strategy, loyalty, closeness to his family and political commitment were all fundamental to Mattei achieving his dream. He used the resources of the present to build a new future – with the goal of creating a national energy company.

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A new formula

foto di Mattei

“We launched a new formula. We pay the fees the others pay and in addition give the producing country a 50 per cent stake in the production and development of its resources”

Enrico Mattei

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The Mattei formula

The Mattei formula

A revolutionary strategy

“It’s their oil,” Mattei liked to say, in the belief that producers should be given energy independence. Based on this premise, the agreement signed with Egypt in December 1954 shook the world of oil and gas to its core.

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A historical collection of facts, memories and recollections relating to the personal and professional life of Enrico Mattei – a man who could rise to any challenge and look confidently to the future.


Mattei also made sure the company looked after its employees. He built welcoming, cutting-edge residential districts, football pitches and swimming pools, and organised residences and summer camps at tourist resorts. He would happily use the word ‘family’ to describe his company’s staff.

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Lifelong passions

As well as his great talent for business, Mattei also nurtured a genuine passion for art and culture. This led him to entrust poet Attillio Bertolucci with the creation of Gatto Selvatico (‘Wild Cat’) magazine. He was passionate about art and collected a series of paintings, which became treasured artistic assets of the company.

Training and innovation

  • Training and innovation

    A global outlook, experimentation and trust in younger generations

    In 1957 Mattei founded Agip Nucleare and built the Latina nuclear power station – with the largest reactor in Europe. He was also a pioneering figure in the cultural arena: in 1958, he founded the Scuola Mattei and promoted an experimental form of research in Eni’s laboratories in San Donato Milanese.