10 Things You Didn’t Know About Mario Moretti Polegato & Family

Everyone knows that Mario Moretti Polegato is a titan in the footwear industry, but there’s much more to this entrepreneurial genius than meets the eye. Behind the success of GEOX, the shoe brand known “as the shoe that breathes”, is a man with a captivating life-story backed by his incredible intelligence, savvy business strategy, and relentless pursuit of innovation.

1. Mario Moretti Polegato was a Winemaker

Ironically, shoes were not always Mario Moretti Polegato’s bread and butter. Before embarking on his journey to create one of the world’s most successful shoe companies, Polegato was involved in the family’s wine-making business.

Growing up in Crocetta del Montello, Italy, Mario was expected to take over his ancestral winery, La Vigna di Sarah. However, his entrepreneurial spirit led him down a different path, a path that led to him revolutionizing the footwear industry.

2. The Idea of GEOX was born out of Necessity

Have you ever wondered how the concept of ‘shoes that breathe’ came to be? Well, the idea was struck during a business trip to Reno, Nevada.

Mario was attending a wine convention when he decided to take a break and go for a run in the Nevada heat. On his jaunt, he found his feet uncomfortably hot and sweaty because of his rubber-soled shoes. Upon returning to his hotel room, he used a Swiss army knife to make holes in the soles of his shoes, thus planting the seeds to the Geox empire.

3. Mario is an Inventor

It certainly takes intelligence and creativity to build a world-renowned footwear empire, but did you know that Mario holds a significant patent to his name?

The patent pertains to a revolutionary membrane in the sole which allows the shoe to breathe while keeping out water and dirt, thus ensuring comfort and durability. This invention not only propelled his venture into success but also reaffirmed his name as an innovative force in the shoemaking industry.

4. He failed before he Succeeded

Despite having a revolutionary concept, Mario did not achieve success overnight. In fact, he first offered his shoe invention to several established footwear companies but was promptly rejected. They didn’t see any potential in the idea.

However, instead of seeing this as a failure, he took it as a sign to start his own company, Geox. This goes to show that sometimes, rejection can lead to greater success.

5. Philanthropy is Close to his Heart

Besides being a successful entrepreneur, Mario Moretti Polegato is also known for his philanthropic endeavors. He established Fondazione Geox in 2003, committing to the promotion of scientific research, assistance to disadvantaged communities, and support of culture and art.

He indeed follows the principle that with great success comes great responsibility. His commitment to giving back to society is indeed commendable and inspiring.

6. His Son is Following in his Footsteps

His son, Enrico Moretti Polegato, is currently the Deputy Chairman of Geox. Walking in his father’s footsteps, he’s actively involved in taking forward the innovations inspired by his father. It’s indeed a case of like father, like son.

7. He regards Sustainability as a Key Factor

One of Mario’s main focuses in recent years has been the sustainability of his company. In line with growing concerns about the environment, GEOX has made significant progress in minimizing energy consumption and reducing waste.

As an example, Geox initiated a project titled “breathesave,” which focuses on optimizing consumption and recycling plastic materials in their production process.

8. He Believes in Investing in Human Resources

Aside from introducing innovations in footwear tech, Mario also believes in investing in human resources. On numerous occasions, he has emphasized the importance of well-trained, motivated and happy employees. His belief resonates in his quote, “A company without its people is nothing.”

9. He’s a World Economic Forum Member

Mario is a member of the World Economic Forum, a non-profit organization that brings together various business leaders, politicians, and intellectuals from across the globe to discuss and shape economic agendas.

10. Mario is an International Business Award Winner

In 2002, Mario Moretti Polegato won the Ernst & Young’s Entrepreneur of the Year award for the innovative concept of the GEOX shoe. This accolade further established his status as a stalwart in the world of business and innovation.

Useful Links

GEOX Official Site
Fondazione Geox
La Vigna di Sarah Winery
World Economic Forum