Massimo Moratti is the fourth son of industrialist Angelo Moratti, who was the chairman of Football Club Internazionale Milano during the team's "Golden Age" from 1955 to 1968. Born in the family villa in the Bosco Chiesanuova, close to Verona, he graduated from Libera Università Internazionale degli Studi Sociali Guido Carli with a master's degree in Political Science.
Moratti took over as chairman of Inter from Ernesto Pellegrini in 1995, during a period where many considered Inter to be underachievers. During the 18 years of his leadership, Inter has clinched five Scudetti/Serie A in a row from 2006 to 2010 (equalling the all-time record), four Coppa Italia titles (2005, 2006, 2010, 2011), four Supercoppa Italiana titles (2005, 2006, 2008, 2010), one UEFA Champions League (2010), one FIFA Club World Cup (2010) and one UEFA Cup (1998). Inter won the Scudetto, the Coppa Italia and the Champions League in the 2009-2010 season, becoming the first Italian team that managed to achieve the Treble.
Moratti is said to have spent around €1.5 billion of his personal fortune in the transfer market in his time as chairman. His most famous signing was that of Ronaldo from FC Barcelona in the summer of 1997, at a time when he was widely considered the best player in the world. Later, in July 1999, Moratti sanctioned a then world-record €48 million purchase of striker Christian Vieri and has purchased numerous other superstars, including Roberto Carlos, Hernán Crespo, Adriano, Iván Zamorano, Maicon, Roberto Baggio, Zlatan Ibrahimović, Luís Figo, Patrick Vieira, Samuel Eto'o, David Suazo and Wesley Sneijder.
Letizia Moratti, his brother's wife, was the Mayor of Milan from 2006 until 2011.
Married to the environmental Activist Emilia Moratti (née Bossi), the couple have five children. On 10 September 2009, Sauro Gori announced that Moratti had been appointed a United Nations Goodwill Ambassador.
In May 2011, Moratti supported Giuliano Pisapia's bid to become mayor of Milan against his sister-in-law Letizia. His call for 'change' was perceived as an extension of his rivalry with A.C. Milan, Silvio Berlusconi, from football to the political sphere.
On 15 November 2013, International Sports Capital took control of 70% of the club. Indonesian businessman Erick Thohir, a part-owner of that company, was elected Chairman of Inter, but Moratti remained with the club as Honorary Chairman.
On 28 June 2016 Massimo Moratti's Internazionale Holding S.r.l. sold all its stake in F.C. Internazionale Milano S.p.A. to Erick Thohir's Nusantara Sports Ventures HK Limited for €60 million (and re-sold to Zhang Jindong's Suning Holdings Group). Massimo Moratti's wife, Milly Moratti, remained in the Advisory Board of Inter. However, Massimo Moratti himself, was no longer the Honorary Chairman of the club. Other member of Moratti family, Angelomario Moratti, Carlotta Moratti, Giovanni Moratti, remained as the member of the board of a subsidiary of the club, Inter Futura.