Telecom Italia Retains Giuseppe Recchi as Chairman

By Manuela Mesco Features Dow Jones Newswires

Telecom Italia SpA said Friday its new board had decided to retain Giuseppe Recchi as its chairman, deciding against replacing him with a representative of its largest shareholder, French media company Vivendi SA.

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The decision comes as the French firm awaits the European Commission's clearance on its control of Telecom Italia before tightening further its grip on the Italian company.

On Thursday, Telecom Italia's shareholders were called to vote for the renewal of the company's board. A narrow majority voted in favour of a list proposed by Vivendi, Telecom Italia's main shareholder with a 24% stake. The list included Vivendi's top executives, including Chief Executive Arnaud De Puyfontaine, Chief Financial Officer Herve Philippe and General Counsel Frederic Crepin.

The new board --which met Friday for the first time--decided to retain Mr. Recchi as chairman. Mr. De Puyfontaine remains the board's vice chairman. Flavio Cattaneo was confirmed as the company's chief executive, maintaining continuity in management.

Telecom Italia said Wednesday its first-quarter revenue rose 8.5% compared with the previous year, to EUR4.8 billion euros, while its operating profit rose nearly 23% to EUR865 million--a sign that the management's efforts to turn the company around are bearing fruit.

Telecom Italia's revenues had fallen for years, while debt continued to expand. The firm struggled amid harsh competition and a protracted economic downturn in Italy.

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Write to Manuela Mesco at Manuela.Mesco@wsj.com

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

May 05, 2017 11:42 ET (15:42 GMT)