Telecom Italia CEO Flavio Cattaneo may leave the company after announcing first half 2017 results at the end of July, as tensions rise with top shareholder Vivendi, Bloomberg reported.
Cattaneo is worried about his reputation because he feels he cannot run the company the way he would like to, while Vivendi is concerned with some politically charged comments he recently made, the report said.
This is not the first time such news has emerged. In April, Cattaneo shrugged off reports he would quit if Vivendi CEO Arnaud de Puyfontaine was given the role of chairman at Telecom Italia.
Company representatives for Telecom Italia and Vivendi denied there were any such issues.
The latest Bloomberg report also said Vivendi wants to appoint its chief convergence officer, Amos Genish, as general manager of Telecom Italia, giving him the power needed to run the company.
He will not be named CEO as he is not Italian and this could potentially be an issue. Most recently Genish was CEO of Telefonica’s Brazilian unit.
According to Cattaneo’s contract, he will get around €40 million in shares and cash if he leaves.
In June, Vivendi launched legal action against Italian regulator Agcom over a ruling to prohibit the French group from holding large stakes in both Telecom Italia and broadcaster Mediaset.
A few weeks previously, Vivendi CEO Arnaud de Puyfontaine was appointed chairman of Telecom Italia in a move which saw the French media company tighten its grip on the Italian operator.
Vivendi is Telecom Italia’s largest single shareholder with a stake of 24 per cent, and exerted increasing levels of control on the Italian operator over the last 18 months.