Vivendi is reportedly keen to reduce the number of board members at Telecom Italia to 15, while its CEO Arnaud de Puyfontaine (pictured) remains in pole position to be appointed chairman of the Italian operator.
According to Italian publication La Repubblica, Vivendi will recommend changes ahead of a 10 April deadline. Vivendi is looking to install five French representatives, five “high standing” Italians, including Telecom Italia CEO Flavio Cattaneo, with the remaining five to be appointed through a minority list.
Vivendi, Telecom Italia’s top single shareholder with a 24 per cent holding, gradually increased its influence over the Italian operator and hopes to secure the changes by 4 May, when the board is due for renewal.
There are currently 16 members on the Italian company’s board.
Speculation is also mounting de Puyfontaine will be appointed chairman of Telecom Italia, taking over from Guiseppe Recchi, and being promoted from his current position as vice chairman.
Unnamed sources told the Italian publication no decision had been finalised, and a source suggested Recchi could even swap roles with de Puyfontaine, to become vice chairman.
Another suggested scenario could see Recchi replace Francesco Profumo as chairman of Telecom Italia’s tower unit Inwit.
In a contrasting report last week, Bloomberg suggested former Ferrari chairman Luca Cordero di Montezemolo was the leading candidate to replace Recchi.
The report said top Telecom Italia shareholders were pushing for the appointment as part of a plan to give more power to Cattaneo.
Vivendi’s stake in Telecom Italia came under the spotlight after the company also increased its stake in Italian broadcaster Mediaset.
Italian regulator Agcom has since been reviewing the company’s position in the market, amid growing speculation it holds ambitions to combine the two players.