Telecom Italia sacks CEO Amos Genish

Telecom Italia (TIM) has sacked chief executive officer Amos Genish as part of a major board room shuffle, Reuters reported.
Telecom Italia wireless subscriberAmos Genish was away on business in Asia on Tuesday. Amos Genish was removed from the CEO job because some directors viewed him as an obstacle to their campaign for a more aggressive shake-up at the company.

Telecom Italia appointed Amos Genish as the CEO last year to run the underperforming telecom operator in Italy. French media group Vivendi, was in control of Telecom Italia, till some time ago. Recently, some directors backed by activist fund Elliott have wrested control of the board and Amos Genish was under pressure to transform the business.

Amos Genish told Reuters that the environment inside TIM was dysfunctional and that several directors had been campaigning against him for months.

Amos Genish, who was born in Israel, said he was concerned about the future of the company and wanted to remain on the board.

Who will become CEO?

Telecom Italia said in a statement that it would meet on Sunday to appoint a new chief executive officer. It gave no explanation for the abrupt departure.

Chairman Fulvio Conti will hold the chief executive’s powers until the board meets again on Sunday to appoint a new CEO.

Former FiatChrysler executive Alfredo Altavilla is seen as a leading candidate to replace Genish and is currently on the board as an independent director.

Luigi Gubitosi, who previously ran the Wind telecoms business in Italy and is also on the Telecom board is seen as another candidate, along with Stefano De Angelis the former head of the company’s Brazilian business.

Failed strategies

Amos Genish had been pursuing a 3-year turnaround plan, focusing on a digital transformation and fixing TIM’s finances. Some Elliott directors wanted him to put higher priority on a possible spin-off of its fixed-line networks.

Elliott pulled off a boardroom coup in May when it secured two thirds of the seats on the Telecom Italia board after a shareholder vote.

Amos Genish on Monday said in a statement he supported the idea of merging TIM’s fixed-line assets with the broadband network being developed by smaller rival Open Fiber, provided TIM was in control of the combined network.