Nicola Drago

EY Family Enterprise Award of Excellence Class of 2022, Italy
Nicola Drago, CEO of De Agostini Publishing SpA

Nicola Drago saved and transformed his family's legacy business, ultimately accomplishing a complete company turnaround.

FE Award 2022 Italy

Nicola Drago, born in 1978, married and father of two daughters, has graduated cum laude in Business Administration from Università Bocconi, and worked at Sonenshine Partners in New York and at McKinsey in Milan. He subsequently earned an MBA from Columbia University in New York.
Since 2008, he has held various positions at De Agostini Group, starting as controller and M&A manager at Zodiak Media Group in Paris, now Banijay Group.
In 2016, Nicola was appointed as the CEO of De Agostini Publishing, a global leader in print and collectibles that, at the time, was in the middle of a severe business and financial crisis.
In this capacity, he focused, among others, on the revamping of the product pipeline and on a massive switch of distribution channel from the traditional point of sales (retail and kiosks) to direct-to-consumer, ultimately accomplishing a complete company turnaround. Saving and transforming his family’s legacy business has been an incredible adventure, as well as an extraordinary source of learning.
In 2020, Nicola was appointed as the CEO of De Agostini Editore, the holding company that controls the publishing, books and education divisions of the Group. In 2021, he was appointed as the Vice Chairman of De Agostini Group.
He cofounded the venture capital fund, Connect Ventures, in London, and sits on the board of directors of DeA Capital and of several nonprofit organizations, including Ubuntu Pathways, Opes Impact Fund and Fondazione De Agostini.
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