Vivendi turned up the heat in its bid to win back control of Telecom Italia’s board, calling for a shareholder meeting to replace five directors allied to activist investor Elliott Management.
In a statement, Vivendi (Telecom Italia’s largest single shareholder) hit out at the operator’s board for deciding not to convene a shareholder meeting scheduled for this month to vote for the appointment of new financial auditors.
“This decision, like many others before, goes against all the rule of corporate governance and is a source of disorganisation,” said Vivendi.
The France-based conglomerate, which lost control of Telecom Italia’s board to Elliot Management in May, said it wrote to the board to urge it to convene a shareholder meeting as soon as possible to appoint the new auditors.
In addition, it wants to “revoke five current board members from the Elliott list of ten, particularly those who were involved in these governance issues, and propose five new ones”.
Vivendi’s request follows a fresh period of turmoil for the operator. Last month, Telecom Italia’s board ousted Vivendi backed CEO Amos Genish from the position and named former Wind boss Luigi Gubitosi as his replacement.
Genish’s influence appeared to diminish when Elliott Management managed to wrestle control from Vivendi.
The former CEO reportedly clashed with Elliott Management over long-term strategy, resulting in his departure.
Gubitosi’s appointment, confirmed shortly after, meant he became Telecom Italia’s fourth CEO in three years.