Telecom Italia Confirms Genish as CEO Following Elliott Victory

(Bloomberg) -- Telecom Italia SpA’s board confirmed Amos Genish as chief executive officer in its first meeting after U.S. activist Elliott Management Corp. last week wrested control of the phone carrier’s board.

Genish, 57, who was appointed to lead Telecom Italia in September, won the unanimous consent of the new board, the company said in a statement Monday. The former phone monopoly also appointed Fulvio Conti as chairman.

“We have confirmed our full confidence in Amos Genish and his management team that we will support in the implementation of the 2018-2020 strategic plan,“ Conti said in the statement.

Last week, Elliott defeated Vivendi SA to take control of Telecom Italia’s board after shareholders supported a call to improve corporate governance and push for asset sales. The slate put forward by the New York-based hedge fund run by billionaire Paul Singer beat Vivendi’s proposal, garnering the support of 49.8 percent of votes at the Italian carrier’s extraordinary general meeting on Friday in Rozzano, near Milan. Vivendi’s slate won 47.2 percent of the votes.

The loss of control is a blow to Vivendi’s biggest shareholder Vincent Bollore, marking the latest in a string of public and personal setbacks for the French billionaire. It’s a milestone for Elliott -- the first proxy win in its four decades in operation. The result means Elliott’s 10 director nominees joined the board and Vivendi got the remaining five spots.

Genish received support for his plan to revive Italy’s ailing former monopoly from top executives at Elliott and Vivendi, he said in a letter sent to managers, which was obtained by Bloomberg News on Sunday.

Telecom Italia’s shares rose 0.9 percent on Monday to 0.86 euro.

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