Amos Genish, embattled CEO of Telecom Italia (pictured), said tension between the company’s management, board and shareholders was counterproductive, while reiterating his intention to stay in the top job.
According to reports citing La Repubblica, the executive said the situation is “becoming unsustainable”. The performance of the operator since activist investor Elliott Management upped its influence has been questioned, which has inevitably led to doubts over Genish’s continued role in the organisation.
A Reuters report over the weekend said that top shareholder Vivendi had reaffirmed its support for Genish, accusing Elliott Management of a “rumour campaign” designed to discredit him. Citing comments made to the Italian media, it was said the French conglomerate had pointed the finger at Elliott Management, which was damaging Telecom Italia with its “lack of organisation”.
Telecom Italia is facing pressure in its already competitive home market, as disruptive new-entrant Iliad Italia has begun racking-up the subscribers. It also spent big on 5G in the country’s recent spectrum auction, although it is difficult to see what other option it had.
Early in September, Vivendi launched an attack at Elliott Management, stating it was “deeply concerned by the disastrous management” of the company. Underpinning this was a decline in share price to its lowest point in five years.
Elliot Management then hit back by accusing Vivendi of being quick to judge, rather than working toward “constructive solutions”. While Elliott Management increased its influence over the Italian incumbent, Vivendi is still heavily represented on the board.
None of which has helped Genish.