Romain Zaleski

BORN

Paris, 1933

EDUCATION

Advanced degrees in engineering from Ecole Polytechnique and Ecole des Mines.

CAREER

Served as senior adviser to France's Minister of Industry. Turned around near-bankrupt Italian steelmaker Carlo Tassara after being named CEO in 1984.

INVESTMENTS

Bought a 38.5% stake in Italian conglomerate Falck in 1996, selling shares in 2000 for a $273 million gain. Began building up a 15% stake in conglomerate Montedison in 2000, later selling 5% to French electricity giant EDF.

Data: BusinessWeek

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