Telecom Italia appointed general manager Amos Genish (pictured), the former CCO at the operator’s largest stakeholder Vivendi, as its new CEO some two months after the departure of former head Flavio Catteneo.
The selection of a previous Vivendi top executive will likely do little to convince Italian authorities the France-based media company does not have effective control of the operator, and comes as rumours emerge the Italian government opened a new investigation into Telecom Italia’s ownership.
Genish was placed in charge of day-to-day operations at the operator since Catteneo’s departure and was widely anticipated to be set for the full-time CEO role. Prior to joining Vivendi, Genish was CEO of Telefonica Brazil.
The news of the appointment comes as the French company continues to dispute its ownership position in Telecom Italia with Italian authorities.
According to sources quoted by Reuters, the Italian government opened a new probe into the issue, which may lead to Vivendi being fined for not informing authorities in Rome it had assumed control of Telecom Italia.
In recent months, Vivendi found itself the subject of investigations from both market authority Consob – which took the position the French company effectively controls the Telecom Italia – and communications regulator Agcom. In April, Agcom ruled the company must cut its stake in either Telecom Italia or broadcast company Mediaset to comply with media ownership rules in the country.
Vivendi is currently in the process of taking measures to appease the authorities and denies it controls the operator.