Leonardo obtained his MS degree from the Polytechnic of Turin and his Ph.D. degree from the University of Tokyo.

He has been at the forefront of a number of initiatives that have helped shape media technology and business as we know them today, starting from MPEG which he founded in 1988 and chaired for 32 years until he was ousted in June 2020 by a coalition of obscure forces.

Leonardo is the President of the Moving Picture, Audio and Data Coding by Artificial Intelligence (MPAI), that he proposed in July 2020 and has been established in September 2021 as a not-for-profit international organisation. MPAI develops data coding standards having Artificial Intelligence as the main technology bridging the gap between standards and their practical use.

From March 1971 until July 2003, Leonardo he worked at CSELT, the corporate research center of the Telecom Italia group and is the CEO of CEDEO.net since its establishment in January 2004.

Leonardo is the recipient of several awards: among these the IBC John Tucker award, the IEEE Masaru Ibuka Consumer Electronics award and the Kilby Foundation award.