Telecom Italia named former Wind boss Luigi Gubitosi (pictured) as its new CEO, replacing Amos Genish who was ousted from the position last week.

In a statement, the operator said its board of directors held a meeting over the weekend to deliberate on Gubitosi’s appointment, which was then confirmed by a majority vote.

Gubitosi, whose CV includes top jobs at Italian telecoms group Wind and airline Alitalia, was appointed as a Telecom Italia independent director by activist shareholder Elliott Management in 2017, before it won control of the operator’s board in May following a battle for power with top shareholder Vivendi,

Elliott Management’s increased influence led to speculation around Genish’s position, with the former CEO reportedly clashing with board members nominated by the shareholder regarding the operator’s long-term strategy.

New chief
Gubitosi becomes the company’s fourth CEO in three years, after Genish was deposed while on a business trip to South Korea following an extraordinary board meeting.

Reuters reported Elliot Management-appointed directors wanted Genish to prioritise a possible spin-off of its fixed-line network and explore asset sales, while he had focused on a three-year turnaround plan focused on digital transformation.

Telecom Italia’s board acted a matter of days after the operator reported it had slipped into the red during Q3, primarily due to a €2 billion write-down of its domestic business assets. The operator also announced it was unlikely to meet its target for debt-reduction in 2018.

Following his appointment, a Reuters source added Gubitosi had said the operator had great expertise to “win market challenges, boost cash-flow generation, cut debt and examine with care and speed the project for the creation of a single network”.

As a result of his appointment as CEO, Gubitosi will no longer serve as an independent director or retain his position on the Control and Risk Committee.