Mauro Porcini is PepsiCo’s first ever Chief Design Officer. He joined the food & beverage corporation in 2012 and in said role he is infusing design thinking into PepsiCo’s culture and is leading a new approach to innovation by design that impacts the company’s product platforms and brands, which include Pepsi, Lay’s, Mountain Dew, Gatorade, Sodastream, Doritos, Lifewtr, Bubly, Aquafina, Cheetos, Quaker, 7Up, Mirinda, amongst many others. His focus extends from physical to virtual expressions of the brands, including product, packaging, events, advertising, fashion and art collaborations, retail activation, architecture, and digital media. He leads teams based in New York City, Purchase, Dallas, Chicago, Los Angeles, Orlando, Miami, London, Dublin, Moscow, Il Cairo, New Delhi, Shanghai, Bangkok, Mexico City, Sao Paulo and Cape Town.
In the fall of 2022, Mauro published his first book in English, The Human Side of Innovation. The Power of People in Love with People (Berrett-Koehler), which focuses on innovation, design and leadership. The book was named a Gold Winner of the Better Future – New York Design Award the month of its publication. In the spring of 2021, he published his first book in Italian L’età dell’eccellenza – Come innovazione e creatività possono costruire un mondo migliore (Il Saggiatore). It is now in its fifth reprint.
Prior to joining PepsiCo, Mauro served as the first ever Chief Design Officer at 3M, where his mission was to build and nurture a design sensitive culture in a technology driven global corporation. His teams, based in the U.S., Italy, China and Japan, won many of the world’s most prestigious design and innovation awards.
Mauro began his professional career at Philips Design and then created his own design firm, Wisemad Srl, in Italy with the celebrated entertainment producer and music star Claudio Cecchetto. His work on wearable technologies has been showcased at the Louvre in Paris as well as the Seoul Art Center.
Over the years he has been on the board of directors for several organizations. Currently, he is the President of the Politecnico of Milan Foundation in the United States (Fellows of Politecnico), sits on the board of directors of the Design Management Institute, and on the advisory council of other design, art, innovation and business institutions.
Mauro is the host of the podcast “In your shoes – with Mauro Porcini” on Apple podcast, Spotify and YouTube, where he interviews inspiring personalities from the creative community worldwide. And for several seasons he’s been a presenter and judge on the TV show New York by Design and America by Design, airing on CBS and Amazon Prime Video.
Mauro is a fashion lover, but not a fashion addict – regardless of his collection of more than 300 pairs of shoes. He lives between New York City and the Hamptons with his wife Carlotta, with their daughter Beatrice, and with their two Pomeranians, Leone and Bella.
Awards and recognitions
One of Mauro’s proudest honors, bestowed upon him by the President of the Italian Republic, is the title of Cavaliere dell’Ordine della Stella d’Italia, an order of knighthood for “extraordinary merits in the preservation and promotion of national prestige abroad, promoting friendly relations and co-operation with other countries and ties with Italy.”
In the past several years Mauro has then been recognized with a variety of other honors and awards for his achievements in the fields of design and innovation.
Most recently, he was included in the list of the “100 most inspiring people of 2023” by OOOM magazine, together with a series of incredibly diverse leaders and renowned change makers, from a variety of different fields – from president Joe Biden to the Dalai Lama, from Oprah Winfrey to Greta Thunberg, from president Volodymyr Zelenskyj to Pope Francis, from Richard Branson to David Attenborough, and many others.
In 2022 Mauro was a Laureate of the American Prize for Design by the Chicago Athenaeum Museum of Architecture and Design and the European Centre for Architecture Art Design and Urban Studies, a recognition that honors a specific design practitioner with the highest public accolade for producing design that promotes design excellence, innovation, and lasting design.
In 2021 he was named one of “2020’s Top 25 Most Influential Innovators” by InnoLead (Boston).
In 2020 the Thomas Jefferson University (Philadelphia) named him “Innovator of the Year.”
In 2019 he received the Pentawards “Visionary Award” in London.
In 2018 he was honored in New York City with the DrivenXDesign “Chairman’s Better Future Award,” given to those individuals that have led Expeditions to a Better Future, working over the last decade to make a difference in the world.
In 2016, the Italy America Chamber of Commerce awarded him with the “Business and Culture Award,” a recognition given every year to one Italian that has performed in an extraordinary way in the United States in the fields of business and culture. That same year he received the “US Design Brand Leader Award.”
In 2015, the newspaper Il Giornale named him “One of the 10 Italians that will change the world” while GQ Italy listed him as one of the “30 Best Dressed Men of 2015.”
In 2014, Mauro was included in Fast Company’s “Most Creative People in Business 1000,” an influential, diverse group of modern Renaissance men and women across the economy and around the globe. He was also recognized with the “PrimiDieci Under 40,” an award that celebrates the extraordinary professional and personal success of the ten most distinguished Italians in the U.S. every year.
Since 2013 Mauro has been part of the “Italian Talents in a Foreign Country” community of the Aspen Italia Institute chaired by prof. Giulio Tremonti.
In 2012 Fortune Magazine listed him in the “40 under 40” ranking – its list of “the business’s hottest rising stars” – the only designer included, Ad Age named him in the “Creativity 50” – its list of the “world’s most influential creative personalities” and the PoliMi association of the University Politecnico of Milan recognized him with the Alumni Polimi Awards 2012 for the “great merit of contributing to enrich the Italian culture in the world.”
In 2011, Fast Company recognized him as one of the “50 Most Influential Designers in America” and “Master of Design” while the World HR Forum in Mumbai presented him with its “Award for Leadership and Innovation.”
The Wall Street Journal’s CFO Journal in 2011 called him “the man putting 3M on the design map,” and under his design leadership, 3M made Fast Company’s list of 30 companies that “get” design.
Since its creation PepsiCo’s Design function, led by Mauro, has been recognized with more than 1,800 design and innovation awards – in 9 years of projects – from several institutions around the world. Fortune included PepsiCo in their 2018 “Driven by Design” list, one of only two organizations in the Food and Beverage Industry.
Mauro’s work has been featured in several books on design and innovation in multiple regions of the world. Amongst others:
“Creative Confidence” (by Tom Kelley and David Kelley),
“Harvard Business Review’s 10 Must Reads – On Design Thinking” (HBR),
“Harvard Business Review’s 10 Must Reads – The Definitive Management Ideas of the Year from HBR – 2017” (HBR),
Jugaad Innovation (by Simon Ahuja, Navi Radjou, Jaydeep Prabhu),
“Il Minimo Sostenibile” (by Gino Finizio)
“Vincere con le idee” (by Enzo Baglieri, Gabriella Lojacono).
In his professional career Mauro has been granted 47 patents on his name.