Telecom Italia names new top executive

The controlling shareholders of Telecom Italia designated Franco Bernabe the new chief executive and Gabriele Galateri the new chairman, in a move that should end a period of limbo at Europe's fifth-largest telecommunications company, an Associated Press report said.

The Associated Press report said Bernabe, 59, currently vice chairman of Rothschild Europe, ran Telecom Italia briefly in 1998. He also was CEO of Eni SpA from 1992-1998.

Galateri, 60, has run Italian carmaker Fiat and the Italian holding companies Ifil and Ifi and was chairman of the Italian merchant bank Mediobanca until last June, the report said.

The designations must be confirmed by a board meeting, expected later this week.

The decision comes more than a month after Spain's Telefonica and four major Italian financial investors formally took control of Italy's largest telecommunications company in a 4.1 billion euro ($5.8 billion) deal reached in April, the report further said.