The Power of

Optimistic People

The 535 employees at the Magna Motrol plant in Guasticce, Italy, will build 85 million components, including side-door latches and door modules, in 2021 for customers including VW Group, BMW and Stellantis. The plant also has a busy stamping department, where employees hustle to meet demand from internal and external customers.

Keeping everyone upbeat and positive – attitudes that tend to be contagious – are Angelo Zoppo, the operations manager, and Igor Morgè, a program manager.

Here is how they do it:

It Starts with the Shoes

The routine rarely varies: Angelo Zoppo changes his shoes when he gets to work. He slips into gray ones with steel toes, inserts earplugs, and heads to the shop floor to meet with production supervisors. He carries a large notebook, a pen and a highlighter to record any concerns.

“I try to spend more than 50 to 60% of my time on the shop floor,” said Zoppo, who started at the plant as an intern in 2008 and is now the operations manager. “People need to know that I am in the plant and not sitting in a comfortable chair in my office.”

When needed, he pitches in and helps out on the assembly line.

“One of my first jobs here was interning with the quality department,” he recalled. “I spent time checking on parts in the warehouse. I’m confident that there will be a solution to every problem. Everyone knows there is no problem we cannot overcome if we work together.”

His management style is simple.

“I try to understand people, and when it’s time to support or push,” Zoppo said. “It’s important to tell people ‘You’ve done a good job.’”

His role model is his father Lino, an electronics engineer, who taught his son to “keep calm when there are problems.”

Zoppo’s calm demeanor has been an asset during the pandemic, when he helped to restart the plant. At the same time, he provided support to his wife Elisa, a pharmacist who has been busy distributing medicine and COVID-19 vaccines at a local hospital. They have two children: Francesco, 5, and Julia, 2.

His off hours are spent cycling.

“I ride in the mountains close to my home,” Zoppo said. “From Monte Serra you can see Mar Tirreno, part of the Mediterranean Sea. It’s a place where I relax with friends. It’s a necessity for my emotional health.”

Making Empathy Part of the Culture

Empathy is a constant theme in Igor Morgè’s life, from his leadership style with cross- functional teams to his favorite artist.

“As a program manager, I am coordinating a lot of people,” said Morgè, a 21-year Magna veteran. “I rely on empathy. I try to explain things and discuss them with my colleagues. It’s an investment in people.”

His role is interfacing with the plant’s customers, including VW Group, an assignment he said involves “balancing different cultures and knowing there are many ways to solve a problem.” The benefit to working at Magna from his perspective: “You are the owner of your future.”

Morgè’s optimistic attitude stems from the lessons he learned battling serious health issues throughout his life, including life-threatening intestine surgery in 2016. He credits his Magna colleagues with supporting him in “that black period,” as they helped him to find the right specialist and encouraged him in his recovery.

“I found it’s an advantage to think positive in life,” he said. “What makes me a positive person is the willingness to improve myself, even if I have health issues.”

As the father of 6 year old twins Marta and Matteo, Morgè brings that same upbeat attitude to parenthood. The goal: “Teach them the freedom to be themselves.”

In his spare time, Morgè pursues photography, where he strives to “fix a moment and a feeling.”

He was the first winner of Motrol’s internal photo contest with a picture he took on his honeymoon in Monument Valley, a red-sand desert region on the Arizona-Utah border in the U.S. Since then, he’s been a judge in the contest.

The legendary Italian artist Amedeo Modigliani, who was known for his empathetic portrayal of his subjects, appeals to Morgè artistic sensibilities.

“He was painting the soul of people and creating a connection,” he explained. “I love his way. It reminds me that the richest part of Magna is the people.”