TIM moves to limit damage from inevitable clash between CEO and board

TIM CEO Amos Genish has been moaning about his executive board, which has prompted the inevitable damage limitation exercise.

In early May a battle to control the TIM boardroom between major shareholders Vivendi and Elliott resulted in victory for the latter. In spite of that Amos Genish, who seemed to be clearly favourable towards the Vivendi side, decided to hang around and was confirmed in the role immediately.

A brave face was put on things from all sides, but it was hard to imagine Genish was going to be totally happy with the new boardroom arrangements and it only took him a month or so to start moaning. The timing, ahead yesterday’s board meeting, was presumably not a coincidence.

Bloomberg reported him as saying the following to reporters: “Unfortunately there are some board members who are involved in feeding untrue and unreliable speculation, interfering with management’s day-by-day work. It’s just noise, not welcomed and not expected, but I won’t be intimidated from getting my job done.”

One of the things resulting from the board meeting was the following statement: “The Board of Directors discussed the comments openly made by the CEO about some Board members, acknowledging his clarifications on the matter and his regret for having made inappropriate comments, subsequently amplified by the media.  As a result of the discussion, the Board confirms that its members share a common vision and objectives for TIM, and continue to support the management team.”

Today we got another ‘clarification’ from TIM: With reference to the article published today in Il Messaggero “TIM, Genish: my comments about the BoD were inappropriate”, TIM hereby clarifies that any kind of speculation regarding the 5G auction reported in the article is groundless, and that any strategy of the Company to take part in it is absolutely premature.

And as for the supposed relationship between TIM and Bai &Company, TIM specifies it has no relations with the consultancy company on 5G and no knowledge of any Bain project on this topic.”

We’ve tried to find this article, even searching for ‘TIM, Genish dichiarazioni inappropriate le mie sul CdA’, but the only Il Messaggero piece published on the matter recently is some vanilla piece apparently parroting the official line from TIM. This implies TIM succeeded in getting Il Messagero to take the original piece down.

Genish, presumably, isn’t stupid and must have known what he was doing when he accused some of his board of briefing against him in the press. The subsequent climb-down was merely the inevitable choreographed set-piece required from such a statement, but Genish seems to be putting the Elliott dominated board on notice that he’s not going to stand for any funny business.


UPDATE: 16:45 26/6/18 – TIM got in touch to clarify that the Il Messaggero piece only appeared in the print edition and sent us a copy of it (in Italian).

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