Vivendi chief tops list of Telecom Italia board nominees

Arnaud de Puyfontaine

Arnaud de Puyfontaine

Vivendi has placed its CEO Arnaud de Puyfontaine, CFO Hervé Philippe and general counsel Frédéric Crépin at the head of its list of candidates to take their places on Telecom Italia’s new board.

According to convention, the top name on the list is reserved for the proposed chairman of the company, with De Puyfontaine widely expected to take that role.

Current Telecom Italia/TIM chairman Giuseppe Rechhi took fourth slot on the list, followed by CEO Flavio Cattaneo.

One surprise addition was former TIM CEO Franco Bernabé, who appears in the number seven spot as a proposed independent director.

The other independent director nominees on the Vivendi list of candidates are Félicité Herzog , Marella Moretti, Camilla Antonini and Anna Jones.

Vivendi, Telecom Italia’s biggest shareholder, has also called for the board to be limited to 15 members, with a term of office of three years.

Vivendi has reportedly filed a pre-emptive notification with the European Commission that it could take ‘de facto’ control of Telecom Italia if its board nomination are accepted.

The French media group, which holds a 24.68% stake in the Italian telco, is currently being investigated by Italian competition watchdog AGCOM over whether its holing of significant stakes in Telecom Italia and Mediaset contravenes the country’s Testo Unico dei Servizi di Media Audiovisivi e Radiofonici (TUSMAR) regulation that electronics communications companies with a market share in excess of 40% cannot control more than 10% of a Sistema Integrato delle Comunicazioni (SIC) – meaning a large TV, radio and publishing outfit.

Telecom Italia’s shareholder meeting is set to vote on the board appointments at the meeting on May 4.

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