Telecom Italia elects new chairman

Telecom Italia investors elected a new chairman on Wednesday and overhauled the company's board in a bid to bring greater transparency and efficiency to Italy's largest phone group.

Telecom Italia elects new chairman
Giuseppe Recchi is the new chairman of Telecom Italia. Photo: Eric Piermont/AFP

Giuseppe Recchi, outgoing chairman of oil group Eni, was elected as part of a restructuring of the board which saw independent directors favoured over executives from shareholder Telefonica, Italian media reports said.

The revamp aims to give chief executive Marco Patuano greater flexibility in tackling the group's mammoth debts and funding investments to boost growth.

The telecoms giant reported a net debt of €26.8 billion at the end of last year.

The change in board make-up is "the turning point which projects us towards the future," Patuano was quoted as saying in the reports.

"The period of governance alchemy is over, it is time to speak business," he said, adding that "the focus will be on strategy."

Investors with a combined 56 percent shareholding were present at the vote.

A list of board candidates put forward by international investment management association Assogestioni won 50.28 percent of shareholders votes, securing election.

There had been concern among investors over the influence on the board of Spanish group Telefonica, the group's largest shareholder and a direct rival to the Italian company in Brazil.

Telefonica is part of the Telco holding company that owns 22.4 percent of Telecom Italia.

Telco's list obtained 45.5 percent, securing three posts on the new board alongside Assogestioni's three seats.

Shareholders will vote separately to elect the seven other directors required to complete the 13-member board.

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Wellbeing is up in Italy despite economic troubles, study finds

Italians are feeling better overall despite struggles with job insecurity and poor work-life balance, according to new figures.

Wellbeing is up in Italy despite economic troubles, study finds
Biking around Italy's Lake Garda. Photo: Depositphotos

Italians are famed for having a supposedly relaxed and healthy lifestyle. And new figures released by national statistics bureau Istat on Thursday show that Italians' wellbeing is actually on the increase.

READ ALSO: La dolce vita? The Italian towns with the best (and worst) quality of life

“Over the last year the indicators report an improvement in wellbeing,” the national statistics agency said in its latest annual BES report.

The report aims to look beyond the usual GDP-based economic picture of how Italy is progressing, by considering economic, social and environmental phenomena.

“Over 50 percent of the 110 comparable indicators have registered an improvement,” ISTAT said.

Fruit for sale at a market in Rome. Photo: AFP

Two in five Italians reported “high levels of satisfaction” with their lives, and overall subjective perceptions of wellbeing had increased by 1.8 percent overall since last year, Istat found.

Italians are also feeling more positive, the study found, with the number of people describing themselves as “optimistic” increasing by 1.8 percent and the number of self.confessed pessimists dropping by two percent.

Istat said the biggest increases in wellbeing were registered in parts of northern Italy, while the lowest scores were found in the centre-south.


In the south, reported levels of satisfaction with life were on average around 12 percent lower compared to the North.

The study noted that the wellbeing index was pushed down by economic factors in many areas, particularly by unemployment, job insecurity, and issues with work-life balance.