Pietro Labriola secured a second term as CEO of Telecom Italia following an investor vote, in what appears to represent backing of his strategy to sell the operator’s fixed network assets.

In an announcement following a shareholder vote at the company’s annual meeting, Telecom Italia stated a slate of candidates headed up by Labriola won six out of nine seats on the board of directors.

Investment companies Merlyn Partners and BlueBell Capital Partners, which had put up a slate of candidates to challenge Labriola, won two and one seat respectively.  

The companies own a 0.5 per cent stake in Telecom Italia each and the former’s parent Merlyn Advisor recently publicly slated the operator’s current strategy, as well as its plan to offload its fixed-line business to NetCo to KKR.

However, the vote in Labriola’s favour represents major backing for the sale, worth €18.8 billion, which is intended to cut the operator’s debt load.

Vivendi, Telecom Italia’s largest shareholder with 24 per cent, has also opposed the fixed network sale but abstained from voting.