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Sparkle appoints new CEO, reporting to Elisabetta Romano

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Sparkle, the international wholesale arm of TIM, has a new CEO. Enrico Maria Bagnasco takes over from Elisabetta Romano, though Romano “maintains her role as board director”, said Sparkle last night.

Romano also remains as chief network operations and wholesale officer of TIM, the former Telecom Italia. And Capacity understands that Bagnasco (pictured) will report into Romano.

Bagnasco has been CTO of Sparkle since September 2019, after a long career with what is now TIM that he started in 1994.

At TIM, he held a number of roles over his 25 years, from head of OSS innovation to head of wireline networks to head of product and portfolio management.

Earlier, he studied maths at a California high school and computer science at Turin university.

Sparkle’s board of directors said it “expressed its heartfelt thanks for the important work done by Elisabetta Romano and the best wishes to Enrico Maria Bagnasco for this new important challenge”, but it offered no comments about the reason behind the change.

However, as Capacity pointed out in August 2022, Romano held “one woman, two jobs”, when TIM added the task of being chief network, operations and wholesale officer of the parent company to her job as CEO of Sparkle.

When she became CEO of Sparkle in August 2020, Capacity noted that the former software engineer was the ninth CEO of Sparkle in ten years.

The company has had four CEOs in the past seven years. Alessandro Talotta, now Digital Realty’s executive managing director at Interxion Telecom in Rome, had the job from July 2015 to April 2018.

Riccardo Delleani, now a non-executive director and an investor, took over from him for just 11 months, from April 2018 to March 2019.

Mario Di Mauro lasted longer, from March 2019 to August 2020. He describes himself as a “senior advisor to global ICT, PE [private equity] and consulting companies”.

Romano is one of the longer holders of the office, from August 2020 to November 2022, and of course is still on the senior management team of TIM, and is still ultimately in charge as Bagnasco’s boss.

Romano will retain her position as chair of the ITW Global Leaders Forum (GLF), to which she was elected in May 2022, in a close contest with Colt’s Keri Gilder.

The GLF told Capacity: “She will still be responsible for the international wholesale business. She is also now responsible for the domestic network and wholesale business too, so her position will add even more value (and a different perspective) to our work.”