Dr. Reza Arabnia
Caveliere del Lavoro
President & CEO
The oldest of five children, Ali Reza Arabnia was born in Tehran, Iran, in 1955, from a family with over 100 years of business tradition and culture in the construction industry.
His work experience at Geico, company of the Gecofin Group, of which he is today the Chairman, began in the ’80s when he became first financial officer at a branch in Nigeria and, soon afterwards, Managing Director. Until the beginning of the ’90s, Dr. Arabnia was at the head of several companies; in 1994, through a management buy-out, he bought the company Gecofin together with his wife Laura Neri.
In 2005, he bought Geico from Comau-Fiat and, in only five years, managed to turn around the company, which was then undergoing a period of crisis, and bring it to be one of the world leaders in plant engineering for the auto sector.
In 2011, he signed an alliance with Taikisha, asserting Geico's leadership in car coating systems in all national markets, with the exception of Japan and Korea. The Geico-Taikisha Group, with a 1.8 billion dollar turnover, has a global presence with over 50 production locations in 23 countries and over 5.000 employees,
Always strongly focused on innovation and integration of new technologies, in 2009 Geico opened the R&D Pardis Innovation Centre, expanded later in 2013, today considered the most avant-garde technology pole of the car coating system sector.
A firm supporter of the value and the welfare of the workers, Dr. Arabnia has devoted to them an indoor space of over 2,000 sqm, Laura’s Garden of Thoughts, and created a company school, the Campus Pippo Neri, in honour of his father-in-law, the founder of the company, for their professional development.
He also is the founder of J-Next, a group of young company employees whose objective is to give a contribution not only to the company but also to the community. The concept of social responsibility and of the role of business owners and companies at the local level is deeply rooted in Dr. Arabnia: hence his involvement in charitable activities and the establishment of Pardis Foundation.
He is a member of the board of directors of several manufacturing, academic, and non-profit organisations, and in 2014 was bestowed the title of Knight of Labour.