Alessandro Benetton, executive vice-president of Benetton Group, has been recognized by Ernst & Young as the Entrepreneur of 2011 for his contribution to the management evolution of Benetton Group and the entrepreneurial development of Italy's 21 Investimenti. He was awarded the prize in Milan, Palazzo Mezzanotte on 23 January 2012 “for having consolidated and renovated a company that has played a significant role in the Italian and worldwide market for over 40 years." Alessandro Benetton will represent Italy during the Ernst & Young Entrepreneur Of The Year Awards in Montecarlo, taking place next June.

In 1992 Alessandro Benetton started a distinctly personal path in Italy's private equity sector and founded 21 Investimenti, of which he is still president, with the aim of bridging the gap between finance and industry at participating companies with great growth potential. In 2004 he began to oversee the future development of the Benetton Group and has served as Executive Vice President since 2007. He lead the company's transition toward a clear distinction between stock holder and management, while reinforcing the group's business in Italy and around the world. He increased activities and investments towards countries such as India, Russia, Mexico and Poland, while strengthening the group's single brand identities through United Colors of Benetton, Sisley and Playlife.

Benetton has also worked to attract a younger consumer base through the use of social media and digital communication strategies. Among recent initiatives was the Unhate (LINK) campaign launch that gained significant worldwide feedback in emerging markets such as India and Latin America as well as in technologically advanced countries like the US, with a total of 500 million users involved.

United Colors of Benetton is presently considered to be one of the most popular apparel brands worldwide and is sold in 120 countries through a network of over 6,400 stores and totals a turnover of more than two billion Euro annually.