Telecom Italia CEO quits after boardroom dispute

Staff Writer
Columbus CEO

MILAN (AP) — Telecom Italia SpA says its CEO Marco Patuano has resigned following a boardroom dispute with the company's biggest shareholder, French media company Vivendi SA.

Following Monday's announcement, Telecom Italia's share price is up 2.9 percent to 1.039 euros in Milan trading.

In less than a year, Vivendi has built up its stake in Telecom Italia to just under the 25-percent level that would trigger a full takeover under stock exchange rules. Vivendi, which has four people on the Telecom Italia board, has expressed its desire to create a Franco-Italian media and telecommunication company.

Vivendi has been putting pressure on Patuano to cut costs and offload Tim Brasil, Telecom Italia's Brazilian mobile subsidiary. Telecom Italia is in the middle of a three-year program to upgrade its network and push into more entertainment services.