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Fastweb CEO suspended amidst ongoing investigation

Fastweb’s CEO Stefano Parisi has suspended himself until his role in an ongoing investigation is clarified. 

The move follows Silvio Scaglia, the billionaire co-founder of the Italian telco, which is now majority-owned by Swisscom, and a number of managers being placed under investigation by the Italian authorities as part of a wide-ranging tax and money laundering investigation.

Parisi and three managers have temporarily suspended themselves. Swisscom CEO Carsten Schloter will assume the role of CEO while Parisi will be assigned to other roles within the Swisscom Group. “Fastweb hopes that the suspension may be resolved shortly and reaffirms once again its belief that Stefano Parisi is not involved at any level in the alleged offences that are currently under investigation,” the telco said in a statement.

Swisscom said it had decided to set aside a provision of €70m in Fastweb’s 2009 annual accounts having conducted a detailed examination of the potential financial impact of the suspected fraud. “The proceedings involve complex tax and legal aspects and could take several years to conclude, with no certainty of the eventual outcome,” Swisscom said in a statement. The company will therefore post a loss of €34m for 2009, as opposed to net income of €36m that was previously announced.

Fastweb’s board of directors has also decided to transfer the business and assets of its wholesale operations to its fully-owned subsidiary Fastweb Wholesale, of which Fastweb’s current chief financial officer, Peter Burmeister, will be appointed as the sole director. This means the Public Prosecutor’s Office has withdrawn its request to appoint a judicial commissioner, the telco said.