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Telecom Italia chair Conti resigns

Fulvio Conti has resigned as Telecom Italia chairman in a move that is seen as potentially smoothing the way for an agreement between the telco’s warring shareholders.

Conti, who was aligned with activist investor Elliott Management, has been replaced on an interim basis by senior director Michele Valensise, in a move that was welcomed by leading shareholder Vivendi, which has been battling with Elliott for control of the future direction of the company since a boardroom coup that saw Elliott’s allies take control last year.

Valensise, who was a Vivendi nominee on as an independent board member, will occupy the top job until October 21, when a successor will be named.

Speculation that Conti was considering going arose in September with various press reports suggesting that his departure could help ease the tensions between Vivendi and Elliott that have bedevilled the telco in recent months.

In June, Vivendi was reported to be moving towards some sort of agreement with Elliott and state investment outfit Cassa Depositi e Prestiti (CDP) over the governance of the company.