TIM director departure sets tongues a-wagging


TIM this week announced the resignation of board member Frank Cadoret, a snippet of information that once again called into question the lack of harmony in its governance.

The Italian telco had little to say on the matter, issuing a terse statement noting Cadoret’s departure and quoting Chairman Salvatore Rossi as thanking him for his contribution to the company over the years.

It’s tempting to scroll on by, assuming that there’s nothing to see here. But Cadoret’s day job makes this little announcement newsworthy.

Cadoret represents Vivendi on TIM’s board. Vivendi, the shareholder that has made its presence felt at the telco in recent years, often finding itself at loggerheads with the management, the Italian government, and everyone in between. His resignation leaves Vivendi with just one representative on the TIM board – CEO Arnaud Roy de Puyfontaine.

And that’s why this resignation is making the news.

However, the media’s interest in Cadoret’s departure is perhaps misplaced. Naturally, everyone is looking at Vivendi’s influence at TIM and the impact this resignation has on that. But it’s worth pointing out that Cadoret has also stepped down from his roles at Vivendi group companies in recent weeks too.

Late last month Digital TV Europe reported that Cadoret, then deputy CEO of Canal+ Group and head of Canal+ France, was to leave the company on 1 November, leading to an organisational reshuffle for the pay TV company. He is also no longer listed among parent company Vivendi’s directors.

Furthermore, TIM itself has clearly had enough of fielding questions about Cadoret’s exit.

“With reference to the press release issued yesterday, TIM clarifies that Director Frank Cadoret has informed today that his resignation is motivated by personal reasons,” the telco said.

Clearly, Cadoret’s resignation made headlines for the wrong reasons, doubtless in no small part because it came on a slow news day. But there is still an interesting angle to the story, in that it leaves TIM with yet another empty board seat at a time when its future is hanging in the balance; the oft-quoted Italian single network project has been delayed, and is likely to be rewritten, due to a change in government.

According to Reuters’ sources, TIM could call a board meeting on  November 30 to find a replacement for former director and Renault CEO Luca de Meo, who left the company in September.

Should this be the case, the telco will doubtless address the issue of the second vacant seat at the same time.

It will be an interesting time to be appointed as a TIM board member, whoever the lucky replacements turn out to be!


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