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Telecom Italia names Rai and TivùSat exec as public affairs chief

Telecom Italia (TIM) has appointed Alessandro Picardi, chairman of digital satellite platform TivùSat and director of strategic development for platforms at public broadcaster Rai, as its new chief of public affairs, reporting to CEO Luigi Gubitosi.

Picardi replaces Francesco Russo, who is leaving the company. Prior to his current role at Rai, Picardi was Director of Institutional and International Relations at RAI and from 2015 to 2018 he was a Director in the Auditel Board.  Previously, he served as VP corporate affairs at Alitalia. He has also served as head of institutional affairs at telecom operator Wind and as advisor for institutional relations and relations with the Vatican at Sky Italia.

Picardi joints TIM as the battle for control of the company between leading shareholder Vivendi and hedge fund Elliott Advisors once again heats up. Vivendi this week condemned what it describes as “time-wasting tactics” employed by TIM board members backed by Elliott who have successfully resisted its call for an immediate shareholders meeting, with the meeting now scheduled to take place on March 29.

Vivendi is trying to oust Elliott board members and regain control of the telco, which it lost in a shareholder vote engineered by the hedge fund in May last year. Vivendi-backed CEO Amos Genish was subsequently ousted in a coup organised by Elliott in November and replaced by Gubitoni.