By Pietro Lombardi
Telecom Italia SpA (>> Telecom Italia) has named Amos Genish as chief executive officer, the company said Thursday, a widely expected move after he was made general manager for operations in July.
Prior to joining Telecom Italia, Mr. Genish had been appointed as chief convergence officer at Vivendi SA (>> Vivendi), leading the French media company's efforts to expand its content distribution across platforms. Vivendi has a stake of about 24% in Telecom Italia.
Mr. Genish's appointment as CEO fills a post that has been empty since July, when Telecom Italia's then-CEO, Flavio Cattaneo, stepped down after only 16 months in the job amid growing tensions with its French shareholder. The resignation came about a month after Arnaud de Puyfontaine, Vivendi's chief executive, became Telecom Italia's executive chairman.
Telecom Italia "must have a constructive collaboration with the institutions and regulators," said Mr. de Puyfontaine, commenting the appointment.
Executive Deputy Chairman Giuseppe Recchi will have deputy functions and will oversee the group's activities and assets "relevant for security and national defense purposes," the company said.
Vivendi is fighting a regulatory battle in Italy over Telecom Italia. Earlier this month, Vivendi said it would appeal a decision by Italy's securities market regulator which deemed that the French media conglomerate has de facto control over Telecom Italia. Telecom Italia has also said it would challenge the watchdog's decision.
The Italian government has also been investigating whether Vivendi has de facto control of Telecom Italia, a sign of its concern over a strategic national asset falling into foreign ownership.
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