Telecom Italia CEO Flavio Cattaneo will accept a severance payment of around €30 million for his imminent exit from the company, the Financial Times said.
Cattaneo is widely touted to be leaving his post later today by mutual consent, amid rumours of clashes with the company’s largest shareholder Vivendi – which also controls the operator’s board.
In comments reported by Reuters, the executive defended the sum he expects to receive on grounds he delivered on many goals ahead of schedule.
Later today, Telecom Italia will hold a meeting of its Nomination and Remuneration Committee with only one item on the agenda, the “Examination of a proposal of mutual termination of the relationship of the company and Mr Flavio Cattaneo.”
A board meeting is scheduled for immediately after the committee’s decision.
As late as mid-July Cattaneo seemed determined to stay in his role until the end of 2020, despite persistent rumours he was set to leave. However, reports soon emerged Vivendi had lined up a three-pronged leadership team to replace the CEO.
According to Reuters, tensions between Catteneo and the company’s board reached breaking point on Vivendi plans to appoint its Chief Convergence Officer Amos Genish as Telecom Italia Managing Director, to work alongside Catteneo.
The CEO’s departure would see Telecom Italia appoint its third chief within two years. Catteneo’s predecessor Marco Patuano left the company in March 2016 amid reports of clashes with Vivendi as the company sought to increase its influence on the operator.
In the 16 months following Patuano’s departure, its hold on the operator has increased further. Vivendi is now in control of the Telecom Italia board and installed its CEO Arnaud de Puyfontaine as chairman of the Italian operator earlier this year.
In addition, the company gained permission from the European Commission to assume control of the operator in May 2017.
However, the company’s progress has not gone unnoticed by Italy’s authorities. Italian regulator Agcom ordered Vivendi to cut its stake in either Telecom Italia or broadcast firm Mediatek in April, to meet stringent Italian media ownership rules. Vivendi is contesting the decision.