Telecom Italia chairman resigns amid takeover talks

Telecom Italia's chairman resigned last week, an apparent victory for the company's biggest shareholder as it seeks to negotiate the sale of most of its stake in Italy's largest telecommunications company to US telecom giant AT&T and its Mexican affiliate, an Associated Press report said.

The Associated Press report also quoted a Telecom Italia statement as saying that the resignation of Guido Rossi was effective immediately.

Rossi had been chairman since September but had lost the support of Telecom Italia's controlling shareholder, Olimpia, a holding company set up by the tire maker Pirelli & C. and apparel maker Benetton, the report said.

Earlier this week, Olimpia omitted Rossi's name from a list of proposed new board members before a shareholders' vote April 16, the report said.

That omission would have made it difficult, if not impossible, for Rossi to maintain control of the company, it added.

Rossi initially signaled he would counter the move, but he appeared resigned to his fate in an interview with the Rome daily La Repubblica, saying he didn't plan to show up at the shareholders meeting, the report further said.