The board of Italy’s largest telecoms firm selected Luigi Gubitosi, a veteran manager who has held senior roles at companies such as Fiat and Wind Telecom, during a board meeting yesterday.
The appointment comes less than a week after Telecom Italia fired Amos Genish – reportedly due to a disagreement with the company’s board.
Genish was the company’s third chief executive to leave in as many years.
The former boss was at a business dinner in South Korea last week when he received a Whatsapp message informing him of a board meeting that would seal his fate, according to Reuters.
Genish, who remains on the board, described the ousting as a Soviet-style ‘putsch’ and expressed concern about the future of the company.
“I personally will and am committed to do anything to fight and defend the rights of all shareholders from my position as a board member,” he told Reuters.
Gubitosi’s appointment comes amid a period of instability for the telecommunications giant.
The new chief executive is backed by American activist investor Elliott Management, which has been locked in a dispute with French media group Vivendi, the company’s largest shareholder.
Vivendi has opposed a number of Elliott’s plans to turn the company around, including a proposed merger with broadband firm Open Fiber.
Former chief executive Genish had been appointed by the French company last year. Gubitosi was appointed to the board in May this year by Elliott and is expected to pursue the investor’s strategy.
The choice of Gubitosi signals the ongoing conflict within the embattled company, which reported net debts of €25bn (£22bn) in its 2018 half-year report.
But the phone service provider’s share price was up over three per cent this morning following the appointment. – Reuters