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Telecom Italia directors meet to evaluate CEO Labriola’s potential second term

Telecom Italia opens new tab directors will meet on Thursday to discuss drawing up a slate of candidates for shareholders to vote upon later this year which could hand CEO Pietro Labriola a second mandate at the helm.

The renewal process for the former monopoly’s board, whose term expires in April, comes as it is in the throes of a reorganisation linked to a planned 19 billion euro ($20.7 billion) sale of its fixed-line access network to U.S. fund KKR (KKR.N), opens new tab.

On Thursday, TIM directors will likely approve the guidelines to compile the slate of nominees, paving the way for the hiring of a headhunting firm to help the board to finalise the process by early March, according to two sources briefed on the matter.

For his part, Labriola, who has been CEO for the past two years, has said he is keen to stay on to oversee the transformation of the telecoms group and his name is expected to be included in the outgoing board slate, the sources said.

On Thursday, directors will also review a proposed reduction of the board members to nine from 15, the sources added.

Supported by the Italian government, which plans to co-invest in the network venture, the KKR deal pits Labriola against TIM’s top shareholder, French media company Vivendi, opens new tab, which is fighting the sale in court.

With its 24% stake, Vivendi could be the main hurdle for the outgoing board slate to secure a majority of votes at the shareholder meeting scheduled for April.

The French group, which has no representatives on the outgoing board, is not expected to back a slate to reappoint the current CEO nor is it currently planning to file a separate list of candidates, according to two other sources familiar with the matter.

Instead it could consider voting for an alternative list of candidates which other investors may put forward to challenge the outgoing board list, the same sources said. Reuters

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