Former Telecom Italia chairman Arnaud de Puyfontaine (pictured) left the operator’s board with immediate effect, citing an aim to devote his efforts to re-establishing a growth path for the operator from his position as CEO of major shareholder Vivendi.

In a statement, the operator noted de Puyfontaine’s departing comment highlighting Telecom Italia as remaining central to Vivendi’s investment plans.

The move comes at a time of continued media rumours about the future shape of Telecom Italia and its relationship with authorities in the country, largely based around the long-discussed formation of a single fibre network.

In the operator’s statement, it was noted the outgoing director believed in the current phase of “constructive dialogue between TIM’s main shareholders and the institutions, under the new government’s leadership, it is fundamental that all the relevant parties may be free to work in a constructive and transparent manner to the benefit of TIM and all its shareholders”.

Vivendi is the Italian company’s largest shareholder with a 23.75 per cent stake, the operator’s latest-published share structure statement from September 2022 showed.

The departure of de Puyfontaine comes two months after fellow Vivendi representative Frank Cadoret left the Telecom Italia board.

De Puyfontaine was appointed Telecom Italia chairman in June 2017 and resigned as part of a board exodus less than a year later, as Vivendi tussled with fellow investor Elliott Management for control of the operator.

He retained his place on the board.

The sparring shareholders eventually agreed a common strategy for the company, and Elliott Management later cut its stake in the Italian incumbent.