Italy’s state-backed companies are undergoing a major shake-up and a sexual revolution.
Having pledged to break with old-style cronyism, New Prime Minister Matteo Renzi has put forward a mixture of maverick insiders and successful private businesswomen to head firms in which the Italian government holds core stakes.
To chair major oil company Eni he has chosen Emma Marcegaglia, former head of a steel multinational and of Italy’s employers lobbying group Confindustria.
Patrizia Grieco, current chair of computer maker Olivetti, is nominated for that job at Enel, Italy’s largest utility; while Luisa Todini, moves from state broadcaster RAI to chair Poste Italiane, the national postal group.
Half of Renzi’s cabinet ministers are women and the prime minister has said he wanted to boost the participation of women in the boardroom.
At Eni, the new chief executive is to be Claudio Descalzi, long-time head of its exploration and production unit. He has helped focus Eni on lucrative resource discoveries, and having been at the company since 1981 is one of the most respected executives in the oil and gas business.
Francesco Starace, currently at the helm of renewable energy group Enel Green Power, is the government’s choice as the new CEO of the whole group. He will take over from long-standing CEO Fulvio Conti.
Starace is a nuclear engineer by training who is also a former head of the utility’s power generation business at the time Enel acquired Spanish utility Endesa.
Ahead of its crucial part privatisation, Italy’s postal service gets Francesco Caio, the current chief executive of aerospace group Avio, as chief executive.
For the top job at scandal-hit Finmeccanica, the government put forward Mauro Moretti, known for turning around previously loss-making state railways Ferrovie dello Stato.
Moretti, an outspoken executive who was seen as a possible candidate for Industry Minister in Renzi’s government, will have the delicate task of turning the page at Finmeccanica after judicial scandals that have hit the defence group while it seeks to join an expected consolidation of the defence industry.
In a nod to public opinion and outrage over fat cat salaries, the prime minister has capped pay for those chairing the companies at 238,000 euros a year.