Press: Alitalia chairman may step down

Alitalia chairman and chief executive Giancarlo Cimoli is expected to step down on Feb 22, when the airline holds a shareholder meeting to renew the board, the daily La Stampa said, citing union and government sources. However, the newspaper also cited other government sources saying that, if an agreement is not found regarding severance pay—which could reach up to 8 mln eur—Cimoli could remain as non-executive chairman.

The new board could have three members, the minimum amount set by the airline’s by-laws.

Alitalia’s board currently only has two directors—Cimoli and government representative Giovanni Sabatini—after Jean-Cyril Spinetta, CEO of Air France-KLM, resigned last month.

Possible candidates to run the airline are Maurizio Basile, CEO of Aeroporti di Roma, Maurizio Prato, chairman of the state-owned holding company Fintecna SpA, and Daniele De Giovanni, an advisor to prime minister Romano Prodi.

The government has a 49.9 pct stake in the troubled airline, but has launched a tender to privatise the company.