Italy ‘considering legal action’ against TIM

By:
Alan Burkitt-Gray
Published on:

TIM board confirms Amos Genish as CEO as Italian government starts action

Amos Genish, Vivendi’s chief convergence officer, is now officially CEO of Telecom Italia (TIM).

The company’s board, chaired by Vivendi CEO Arnaud de Puyfontaine, confirmed the appointment last night. It had been widely rumoured for weeks, especially since the resignation of previous CEO Flavio Cattaneo.

At the same time the government of Italy is believed to have started a process that could lead to TIM being fined. The government believes that Vivendi exerts control over TIM, though the French media company has repeatedly denied it.

The government is concerned that essential national infrastructure – including the international carrier network owned by TIM’s Sparkle subsidiary – is now controlled by a foreign company.

Despite government concern the board co-opted Genish as one of its members and appointed him CEO.

In the one possible concession to government worries, the board put former chairman Giuseppe Recchi – now executive deputy chairman – in charge of TIM’s security department, “responsible, among other things, for overseeing all activities and assets that are relevant for security and national defence purposes inside TIM and the other Italian companies in the group”. It listed Sparkle and security company Telsy as among these.

Recchi is also now chairman of TIM’s strategic committee.

De Puyfontaine said: “We have a clear long-term vision: to return TIM to its rightful splendour, making a crucial contribution to the digitalisation of the country, the creation of digital Italy, through investment and people.”

Genish said: “We’ll continue transform TIM to be a truly digital telco. Our DigiTIM programme is based on some key fundamentals which are mostly focusing on providing superior customer experience, leveraging digitalisation to enhance the interface with our clients; smart analytics through big data to personalise our products and services; and adding video and multimedia on top of our best-in-class connectivity for a convergent offer, while continuing investing in our ultra-broadband coverage to support the evolution to the gigabit society.”

In 1999 Genish founded Brazilian operator GVT, which was acquired by Telefónica in 2015, when he became CEO of Telefonica Brasil, which operates as Vivo.

As a consequence of that deal Vivendi had taken over Telefónica’s role as the biggest shareholder in TIM. Genish moved to Vivendi at the beginning of 2017 as chief convergence officer, to be based in Paris and London. Now, says TIM, he is based in Rome.