Beppe Annoscia, proponent of this "tous azimouts" strategy, became president and
general director of Universalis, after spending a lifetime directing Britannica.
Born in Bari, Italy, from a family of Russian origins, graduated in Economy and
Commerce, Annoscia had one big ambition: give an international dimension to a
convoluted Universalis, which is especially known in France. He would like
Universalis to have the same key-role in the Francophone world, as Britannica
has in the Anglo-American culture.
"When I used to work to give an international dimension to Britannica we worked
in 102 countries. From Colombia to Afghanistan, everyone had heard about the
encyclopaedia. Internet can help us to the same for Universalis". President of
Britannica in Europe, Africa and Middle East from 1990 to 1999, after being the
general director for the Italian branch, Annoscia was convinced that "a paying
knowledge website" is possible, but also sure that one doesn't have to put
things all together: he proposed a co-existence of paper, CD-Rom, DVD and
The new Universalis paper edition arrived at a distance of seven years from the
last one: 28 big illustrated volumes for a total of 28.000 pages.