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Giuseppe "Beppe" Sala (born 28 May 1958) is an Italian manager and politician. He was CEO of the 2015 Universal Exposition in Milan from June 2010 to December 2015.[1] Sala was also a candidate for the Democratic Party to become Mayor of Milan in the 2016 municipal election, which he won, becoming mayor on 21 June 2016.[2] Sala is often nicknamed "Mr. Expo", for his position as CEO of the Universal Exposition.[3]

Giuseppe Sala
Giuseppe Sala.jpeg
Mayor of Milan
Assumed office
21 June 2016
Preceded byGiuliano Pisapia
CEO of Expo 2015
In office
June 2010 – December 2015
Personal details
Born (1958-05-28) 28 May 1958 (age 61)
Milan, Lombardy
Political partyDemocratic Party
Alma materBocconi University
ProfessionManager, politician


Business careerEdit

Expo 2015Edit

In 2015 Milan hosted the Universal Exposition; the themes were technology, innovation, culture and traditions concerning food.[4] Participants in the Expo included 145 countries, three international organisations, several civil society organisations, several corporations and non-governmental organizations (NGOs).[5] The participants were hosted inside individual or grouped pavilions. In June 2010 Sala was appointed CEO of the Expo.

The opening of the Expo on 1 May 2015 was marred by protest from anti-austerity activists, black bloc, and anarchists which caused criminal damage, resulting in the police using tear gas.[6][7]

Expo also created some tensions with the Holy See and the Italian government; in fact Pope Francis condemned the concept of Expo, saying that it "obeys the culture of waste and does not contribute to a model of equitable and sustainable development".[6] As Vatican City invested €3 million to obtain its own pavilion at the event before his appointment to the papacy, Francis said that, although it is a good thing that the Church is involved in causes that battle hunger and promote cleaner energy, he stated that too much money was wasted on the Expo itself by Vatican City.[8]

Political careerEdit

Mayor of MilanEdit

Giuseppe Sala with the journalist Beppe Severgnini in October 2016.

On 22 March 2015, the incumbent mayor of Milan, Giuliano Pisapia, announced that he had chosen not to run for re-election in 2016 for a second term in office. Following Pisapia's decision, the ruling center-left coalition decided to call an open primary election to choose a new single mayoral candidate.[9]

Sala and three other people registered to be candidates in this election.[10] The other candidates were Francesca Balzani, the then deputy mayor of Milan, responsible for the Budget in Milan's municipal government and a former Member of the European Parliament;[11] Pierfrancesco Majorino, then responsible for Social Equalities in the municipal government of Milan;[12] and Antonio Iannetta, the former president of UISP.

The election took place on 6–7 February 2016 and Sala won with 25,600 and 42.3% of the vote.[13]

On 5 June, in the first round of the municipal election Sala gained 41.7% of first votes; on 19 June, in the second round, he defeated the centre-right candidate Stefano Parisi with 51.7% against 48.3%.[14]

On 16 December 2016 Sala suspended himself from office after learning that he was named in an investigation regarding the Expo 2015.[15][16] He then retired that suspension a few days later.


  1. ^ Expo 2015, Giuseppe Sala nominato commissario unico
  2. ^ Primarie Centrosinistra a Milano. Vince Beppe Sala sulla sinistra disunita
  3. ^ Elezioni Comunali Milano 2016: Nella squadra di Mr Expo spuntano Ambrosoli e Linus
  4. ^ Il Tema – Expo Milano 2015 Archived 2014-05-03 at the Wayback Machine
  5. ^ "Expo2015 Participants". Archived from the original on 2014-05-02.
  6. ^ a b Day, Michael (1 May 2015). "Milan Expo 2015: Rioting and tear gas mar the start of a 'brighter tomorrow' for Italy". The Independent. London. Retrieved 1 May 2015.
  7. ^
  8. ^ "Papa Francesco si arrabbia per i soldi spesi dal Vaticano per l'Expo" [Pope Francis angered by the money spent by the Vatican on the Expo]. Diretta News (in Italian). 27 April 2015. Retrieved 2 May 2015.
  9. ^ Oriana Liso (December 8, 2015). "Milano, il centrosinistra ha deciso: primarie il 7 febbraio". La Repubblica. Retrieved December 22, 2015.
  10. ^ Oriana Liso (December 22, 2015). "Milano, Giuseppe Sala ai blocchi di partenza". La Repubblica. Retrieved December 24, 2015.
  11. ^ Oriana Liso (December 16, 2015). "Milano, la vicesindaco Balzani si candida". La Repubblica. Retrieved December 24, 2015.
  12. ^ Oriana Liso (December 22, 2015). "Primarie Milano, Majorini ce l'ha fatta". La Repubblica. Retrieved December 24, 2015.
  13. ^ Beppe Sala vince le primarie di Milano
  14. ^ Milano, vince Sala: "Lavoreremo con spirito ambrosiano"
  15. ^ "Sala to suspend self over Expo probe". Ansa. 16 December 2016. Retrieved 16 December 2016.
  16. ^ "Milan mayor suspends himself over judicial probe". The Star. 16 December 2016. Retrieved 16 December 2016.
Preceded by
Giuliano Pisapia
Mayor of Milan