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Telecom Italia CEO Ousted in Surprise Dawn Coup by Elliott Board

  • Genish lost activist investor support amid negative returns
  • Shareholder Vivendi blasts removal of CEO as ‘cynical move’

The sun had yet to rise over Milan when Telecom Italia SpA’s board gathered for a conference call Tuesday morning. Dialing in thousands of miles away was Chief Executive Officer Amos Genish, who had spent the last few days in South Korea and China for business. By the time the meeting wrapped up just before 9 a.m., he was out of his job.

Genish was voted out by the board members representing activist investor Elliott Management Corp., who make up 10 of the 15 directors. On the other side was French media company Vivendi SA, which had repeatedly clashed publicly with Elliott over the future direction of the former Italian phone monopoly. Genish is set to keep his seat on the board.