By Giovanni Legorano and Nathan Allen
ROME--Fabrizio Saccomanni, the chairman of Italian banking giant UniCredit SpA (UCG.MI), has died suddenly, the company said on Thursday.
"UniCredit loses a chairman of the highest order and depth who has guided the bank's board through a time of tough challenges with great balance and transparency, a clear strategic vision, a strong sense of direction," Chief Executive Jean Pierre Mustier said.
The news of Mr. Saccomanni's death was previously reported on Italian daily Corriere della Sera's website.
Mr. Saccomanni, 76, took over as chairman of the bank's board last year after a long career at the Bank of Italy, where he served as director general, and a brief stint as Italy's economy minister with the government headed by Prime Minister Enrico Letta.
"His death is a loss for the whole country," Mr. Mustier said.
Write to Giovanni Legorano at Giovanni.Legorano@wsj.com and Nathan Allen at Nathan.Allen@dowjones.com