Telecom Italia and Marco Patuano will break ties from today (22 March), with the departing CEO walking away with a €6 million payoff.

Patuano’s resignation was confirmed yesterday afternoon, amid reports of clashes with Vivendi, the Italian group’s single largest shareholder.

In a statement, Telecom Italia said Patuano will be paid €6 million for the termination of his directorship and employment contract, in addition to his fixed and variable remuneration.

As expected, the company also confirmed current executive chairman Guiseppe Reccchi will assume CEO duties, until a replacement is appointed.

“The Telecom Italia board thanks Marco Patuano for his commitment, dedication and contribution in terms of creating value during his tenure as CEO of the group, and more generally, over his 25 years of employment with the group, and wishes him all the best for his future professional engagement,” the company added in a statement.

Patuano’s departure comes as it was reported Vivendi had begun to exert more influence over the operator, after growing its stake in the company to nearly 25 per cent over the past seven months. In particular, there is believed to be discord over Telecom Italia’s Brazilian business.

Flavio Cattaneo, CEO of Italian railway company NTV and former Wind Italia CEO Luigi Gubitosi are apparently among the favourites to take over.