Carlo De Benedetti completed his studies at the Turin Politecnico where he graduated in 1958 with a degree in Electrical Engineering. He began his entrepreneurial career in 1959 in the family business, Compagnia Italiana Tubi Metallici Flessibili, which later became Gilardini.
In 1976 he founded CIR (Compagnie Industriali Riunite), one of the most important private holding companies in Italy, with around 14 thousand employees. Listed on the Milan Stock Exchange, it operates in various sectors. He is currently Honorary Chairman of CIR and Cofide.
From 1978 to 1996 Carlo De Benedetti was at the helm of Olivetti and was Honorary Chairman from 1996 until June 1999.
Since 2006 he has been Chairman of Gruppo Editoriale L’Espresso.
He is currently on the Supervisory Board of Compagnie Financière Edmond de Rothschild Banque (Paris), is a member of the Reuters Institute Advisory Board (Oxford), is on the Board of Directors of Amber Capital SGR Italia and is a member of various international associations.
He is Chairman of the Rodolfo De Benedetti Foundation which he founded in 1998, in memory of his father, to promote research in the field of economic policy in relation to the labour market and welfare systems in Europe.
He is Chairman of the Foundation Together to Go – TOG which he founded in 2011 for the rehabilitation of children who have suffered neurological problems. Carlo De Benedetti received the title of “Cavaliere del Lavoro” in 1983, was awarded the Légion d'Honneur in 1987 and the Silver Medal for Merit by the Republic of Austria in 2006.