Cattaneo gets €25m to leave TIM after ‘major and extraordinary turnaround’

Cattaneo gets €25m to leave TIM after ‘major and extraordinary turnaround’

Flavio Cattaneo has agreed compensation of €25 million in return for his resignation as CEO of TIM, despite the fact that many elements in the company did not want him to go.

Cattaneo is leaving because, it is understood, he did not want to work alongside Amos Genish, whom major shareholder Vivendi wants to put in as managing director.

Of the €25 million, €2.1 million will be held back for a year, to be paid if he does not work for TIM’s competitors in Italy or Brazil.

Cattaneo will serve his last day as CEO on Friday 28 July, and will cease to be a general manager of the company, which is still officially Telecom Italia, the following Monday.

TIM has started to seek a new CEO, and has a board meeting on Thursday when this will be considered.

It’s clear that Cattaneo’s departure has been uneasy, with opposition from some elements of the board, which is dominated by representatives of Vivendi, the French media company that owns 24% of Telecom Italia.

“The board of statutory auditors has expressed non-favourable, non-binding opinion [about Cattaneo’s removal],” said a TIM statement – clearly implying that the auditors were unhappy with the Vivendi coup d’état.

This impression was reinforced by a separate statement from TIM, which paid tribute to Cattaneo’s contribution to the company while he was CEO.

He delivered a “major and extraordinary turnaround of the business”, said TIM, adding that there were “all the positive quarterly reports, positive on every line, which demonstrate a major reorganisation of internal processes, efficiency plans on non-core costs, and revenue plans, which saw company increase its customers and revenues to levels not reached in the last 10 years”.

The company increased its core investments, and Cattaneo brought it “back to leadership of the mobile segment” and under his direction TIM covered “around 70% of the country with fibre”.

TIM added: “It is universally recognised that such a recovery has never before been seen, making it the first among the major telecommunications companies that were formerly incumbent in Europe and the US, in terms of speed of growth of all main top line drivers, and of profitability, as well achieving the greatest coverage in fibre.” TIM thanked him “for the major task he undertook”.

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