Telecom Italia CEO Marco Patuano has held a meeting with Vivendi executives in Paris to discuss strategy issues amid signs that the French media group is reviewing his position, according to unnamed sources cited by Bloomberg. Patuano’s term as CEO is due to end in a year and Vivendi is said to be losing patience with his leadership after investing some EUR 3.5 billion to increase its stake in the Italian operator to 23.8 percent. The sources said the executives discussed issues such as cutting costs, revamping Telecom Italia’s domestic business as well as options for Brazilian unit Tim Participacoes.
Although no final decision on Patuano’s future has been made, Vivendi CEO Arnaud De Puyfontaine has met with potential candidates to replace Patuano if he doesn’t make progress on Vivendi chairman Vincent Bollore’s plan to transform the operator into a media group with a southern European focus, said the sources. In December, Patuano’s plan to convert savings stock into common shares was rejected by shareholders after being opposed by Vivendi.
Separately, business daily Il Sole 24 Ore listed a number of possible candidates to replace Patuano, some of which may already have been contacted by Vivendi. They include ex-Sky Italia managing director Tom Mockridge, former RAI CEO Luigi Gubitosi, Wind CEO Maximo Ibarra and Terna CEO Flavio Cattaneo.