Telecom Italia board confirms new management team

After months of uncertainty, Telecom Italia's new shareholders exerted control, voting in a new management team to lead Europe's No. 5 telecommunications company, an Associated Press report said.

The Associated Press report said the board approved Franco Bernabe as CEO and Gabriele Galateri as the new chairman, ushering in a new era at Italy's largest telecoms operator.

Bernabe, 59, currently vice chairman of Rothschild Europe, ran Telecom Italia briefly in 1998. He also was CEO of Italian energy company Eni SpA from 1992-1998.

Galateri, 60, was chairman of the Italian merchant bank Mediobanca until last June.

Bernabe told a news conference that he was more interested in acquisitions than with spinning off any Telecom Italia assets, but said future strategic plans would be laid out by the new board.

Telecom Italia has been in limbo since April when Spain's Telefonica and four major Italian financial investors reached a 4.1 billion euros ($5.8 billion) deal to assume control of Telecom Italia, the report said.

The report further said the transfer of control was held up six months by regulatory controls and disagreements among the Italian shareholders over who should take the helm.

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