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Telecom Italia Names New CEO

The controlling shareholders of Telecom Italia on Monday designated Franco Bernabe the new chief executive and Gabriele Galateri the new chairman, in a move that should end a period of limbo at Europe's fifth-largest telecommunications company.

Bernabe, 59, currently vice chairman of Rothschild Europe, ran Telecom Italia briefly in 1998. He also was CEO of Eni from 1992-1998.

Galateri, 60, has run Italian carmaker Fiat and the Italian holding companies Ifil and Ifi and was chairman of the Italian merchant bank Mediobanca until last June.

The designations must be confirmed by a board meeting, expected later this week.

The decision comes more than a month after Spain's Telefonica and four major Italian financial investors formally took control of Italy's largest telecommunications company in a $5.8 billion deal reached in April.

The controlling shareholders, with a combined 24 percent stake, are Telefonica, Intesa Sanpaolo, Assicurazioni Generali, Mediobanca and one of the Benetton family's holding companies, Sintonia.