Cristina Scocchia illycaffe


Illycaffè has appointed Cristina Scocchia, currently CEO of Kiko SpA as their new CEO in an unexpected reshuffle of the famous Italian coffee company. Scocchia replaces Massimiliano Paglioni who was the first external CEO to run the family-owned business. 

According to a press release, current shareholders have made it clear they intend to raise funds via an IPO, and perhaps they believe that Ms Scocchia would be better able to accelerate the process. As they put it, the change right now is to capitalise on a ‘positive phase on capital markets’.

 positive phase on capital markets.

Illycaffè this year achieved their BCorp certification. This is something they saw as important to building trust with their consumers – see our interview with Massimiliano Pogliani below.

Both Mr Pogliani and Ms Scocchia have not come from a coffee background, which signals that Illycaffè’s board think B2C experience in a public company is more important than understanding the nuances of coffee. 

The company has an executive team with subject matter knowledge, but what they need right now is leadership that understands marketing and communications and how to sell the vision to bankers.

Last year’s annual financial report showed a decrease in revenues of 14% to €446.5m, and a Net Profit of €5m which is a small profit for a company with the name and brand reputation of Illycaffè.

By comparison, Lavazza Group, which carries several brands under its umbrella, made Net Revenues of €2.09bn and a profit of €72.9m – a 3.5% profit on sales, vs Illycaffè’s thinner 1.1%.

One interpretation of the company’s strategy is that they want capital to pursue growth with the understanding that smaller coffee brands might not have the same relevance in the future as they do today. If the company conducts an IPO, as was their original plan, it will be interesting to see how much money they raise.

A company that files for an IPO must prepare documentation to explain its plans and risks. I’m looking forward to reviewing those filings which will shed some light on exactly how this coffee company, which has had such a presence on the market for so long, plans to grow and stay relevant in the future.


  • Nick Baskett is the editor in Chief at Bartalks. He holds a diploma from the Financial Times as a Non Executive Director and works as a consultant across multiple industries. Nick has owned multiple businesses, including an award-winning restaurant and coffee shop in North Macedonia.

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