Forbes magazine: Artemide's CEO among the top 100 women in Italy

Carlotta de Bevilacqua: a visionary of Italian lighting design and modern business

Forbes has added Carlotta de Bevilacqua to its list of Italy’s 100 most successful women in 2020. As President and CEO of Artemide, one of the world’s leading lighting design companies, she has irrepressible creative energy and great vision. For her it has always been about sustainability and improving society. With her team in the company’s own research laboratory, she is inventing the light of the future: “The Human Light”. Because for Carlotta de Bevilacqua light is primarily all about wellbeing. She has developed numerous visionary LED lights and lighting systems for Artemide, such as Empatia, Come Together, Copernico, Yang, A.24, Vector, Algoritmo and Cata. She is a source of inspiration and encourages the world’s best designers and architects to design lights for Artemide. They include highly respectable international design agencies and architectural practices. As a professor in the design faculty of the Politecnico di Milano, she is training the next generation of light researchers. A fine example of Carlotta de Bevilacqua’s social commitment is the “GenerAction” project, an initiative supporting sustainable, humanitarian and innovative Generation Z projects all over the world.

Carlotta de Bevilacqua was raised in Milan at the heart of the Italian design scene. Shortly after completing her degree in architecture at the Politecnico di Milano, she met her future husband, Ernesto Gismondi, a leading light in aerospace engineering and the founder of Artemide. From that moment on, not only were they joined together by love, but by their passion for light as well. In the partnership they had, they were ahead of the times. Together they created lights that stand out for their resource-efficient manufacture, durable design and emission of light for the benefit of people.

Her visionary approach encountered Gismondi’s openness to all things new. Carlotta de Bevilacqua proved herself in what until then was male-dominated lighting design. In the company’s own research laboratory she investigated every facet of light with Gismondi. Artemide made ground-breaking technological progress and from then on adopted a pioneering role in sustainable innovation. The corporate philosophy of “The Human Light” was born, which puts people and their needs first. Lights from the house of Artemide now stood out not just for their iconic and bold design, but for their sustainable LED technology and multitude of intelligent functions.

Carlotta de Bevilacqua’s passion for light and her insatiable thirst for knowledge continually drive her research. She is dipping into the world of photonics and developing the light of the future. Geo LiFi is the latest technology and allows data to be transferred through light. Geo LiFi has numerous exciting areas of application. Above all, Carlotta is dreaming of kitting out hospitals in war zones with light-based communication systems to avoid interference from radio waves. This means that light could save many lives.

As well as being an enthusiastic designer and light researcher, over the years she has become an equally responsible and successful entrepreneur. Following Ernesto Gismondi’s death in December 2020, as CEO and President of Artemide Carlotta de Bevilacqua’s aim is to run a social and innovative company that matches her humanistic and scientific values. She champions human rights, loves animals and lives sustainably. In her influential position she supports social projects all over the world. Protecting and strengthening European culture are also close to her heart, which is why Artemide’s production plants are exclusively in Europe.

Although she is ambitious for the company to be financially successful, her staff’s wellbeing has always been a priority. During the devastating coronavirus crisis, Carlotta de Bevilacqua took a proactive approach by halting activities in the main production plant in Bergamo even before the government decree and having the factory completely disinfected to protect employees. In the French and Hungarian plants too, she took all necessary precautionary measures.

Having people’s health as a top priority, operating in an environmentally conscious way and demonstrating humanity, these are the values that have shaped Carlotta de Bevilacqua’s life. Values that are also underpinned in Artemide’s recently published sustainability report. Her own efforts and those of her company to improve the wellbeing of people and the planet have ultimately led to her inclusion on the list of the world’s top finance magazine: Forbes selected Carlotta de Bevilacqua as one of Italy’s 100 most successful women in 2020. It is an honour that Carlotta de Bevilacqua deserves and provides motivation to continue doing everything she can to live up to her social and environmental values.