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Telecom Italia CEO Genish ousted in latest twist in battle for control

Amos Genish

Telecom Italia’s (TIM) board has ousted CEO Amos Genish at a meeting called early this morning, despite assurances issued earlier that no such meeting was planned.

TIM said that the board had met and “deliberated by a majority vote to revoke with immediate effect all powers conferred to Director Amos Genish” with his powers to be transferred to Chairman Fulvio Conti. The board thanked Genish for “the work done” over “these 14 months of intense activity” since his appointment.

Italian newspaper Il Messaggero had reported over the weekend that directors had agree to call an extraordinary board meeting to secure Genish’s resignation, with Conti reported to be looking to Rocco Sabelli or Alfredo Altavilla as possible replacements.

Another meeting of the board will be now called for November 18 to appoint a new CEO.

Vivendi, TIM’s largest shareholder, which lost a battle to retain control of the board to activist investor Elliott Advisors in May, condemned the ousting of Genish, whom it had supported during his tenure.

Vivendi has accused Elliott of orchestrating Genish’s removal and of having a secret agenda to destabilize the company in its own interests.

Genish had reportedly resisted pressure from Elliott to make changes including the sale of key assets and the spinning off of the company’s network infrastructure, focusing instead on executing the industrial plan established by the company at the start of the year with an emphasis on organic growth.

The separation of TIM’s infrastructure is linked to a government plan to create a single network infrastructure for Italy combining the assets of TIM and Open Fiber. Genish had been open to collaborating with Open Fiber but had wanted TIM to retain control.