Maccanico was general secretary under the Italian president Sandro Pertini, who served 1978-1985. In 1987-1988, Maccanico replaced the legendary Enrico Cuccia as chairman of Italy‘s dominant investment bank and deal-arranger Mediobanca, and guided the bank through privatisation.
Maccanico was also undersecretary to Premier Carlo Azeglio Ciampi from 1993 to 1994, and minister of communications under Premier Romano Prodi from 1996 to 1998. “I remember Antonio Maccanico with affection, a servant of the State in the literal sense of the word. A man who was authoritative and yet simple, never arrogant nor inclined to role-based rhetoric,” said Gianfranco Rotondi, an ex-minister and current member of parliament with Silvio Berlusconi‘s People of Freedom Party (PdL). Rotondi added, “It would have been so important to still have him available to the country”.