TIM hires former security and terrorism cop to chair Sparkle

14 May 2019 | Alan Burkitt-Gray

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The new chairman of Sparkle, TIM’s international wholesale carrier division, is to be Alessandro Pansa, who spent 43 years in the Italian police, specialising in security.

Pansa (pictured), who will start his job tomorrow, will also advise the TIM group – formerly Telecom Italia – on cybersecurity as well as the Italian state’s so-called “golden power” over the company.

The previous chair of Sparkle was Stefano Siragusa, still listed on the company’s website this morning. Formerly chief infrastructure of TIM, Siragusa was appointed chairman of Sparkle in March 2018 at the same board meeting that made Riccardo Delleani CEO – a role that lasted only until March this year.

Pansa is not to be confused with the executive of exactly the same name who was CEO of Italian military equipment company Finmeccanica until he died in November 2017. Finmeccanica has since been rebranded Leonardo.

The Sparkle Pansa, 68 next month, joined the Italian state police in 1975 as deputy commissioner for public security after graduating in law.

During his career he covered areas from terrorism, organised crime, narcotics and immigration. In 2013 he became Italy’s chief of police. In that role he took part in Operation Archimedes, a European Union collaboration in 2014 against human trafficking.

Pansa then spent two years as director of the security intelligence department, until he retired from the police on 10 December 2018. 

The Italian state’s golden power is intended to retain areas of critical national infrastructure, including national, international and subsea fibre networks, in the control of Italian companies – an issue that particularly troubled the Italian government two years ago when French media group Vivendi became the largest, though not majority, shareholder