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Telecom Italia Says Head of Brazilian Unit Quits

May 5 (Bloomberg) -- Telecom Italia SpA said Luca Luciani stepped down as chief executive officer of its Brazilian unit Tim Participacoes SA, the country’s second-largest wireless operator.

Luciani left the company and “gave up all his mandates,” Milan-based Telecom Italia said in a statement today. Telecom Italia Chief Financial Officer Andrea Mangoni will replace him on a temporary basis, it said.

“The top team of Tim Brasil is tight-knit and Mr. Luciani’s departure would be a blow, but it is a company with very good bench strength,” Robin Bienenstock, an analyst at Sanford C Bernstein, wrote in a note yesterday. “There are in our view several executives within the company that would be capable of stepping up.”

Milan prosecutors targeted Luciani in a probe of alleged inflated Italian wireless client numbers, people familiar with the investigation said in March 2011. Prosecutors investigated whether Telecom Italia’s domestic wireless phone unit issued more than 1.5 million false phone cards to inflate its client numbers, according to the people.

Luciani hasn’t been charged with any crime.

To contact the reporter on this story: Chiara Remondini in Milan at cremondini@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Kenneth Wong at kwong11@bloomberg.net

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