Montezemolo takes his chair at head of new Alitalia board

Earlier this month we brought you a report that Luca di Montezemolo – the longtime but recently ousted Ferrari chief – was to take up a new position as the chairman of Alitalia. And now the troubled but resurgent Italian airline has confirmed his appointment as part of its new board of directors.

The new board, appointed on Wednesday with immediate effect, is composed of directors appointed by either Alitalia itself or by its new partner and minority stakeholder Etihad Airways. Montezemolo will sit at its head as non-executive chairman, joined by Etihad chief James Hogan as non-executive vice chairman. Alitalia's outgoing chairman Roberto Colaninno, who also heads up motorcycle giant Piaggio, remains on board as a non-executive director and honorary chairman.

The authority to execute the board's mandates, however, will fall to Silvano Cassano, who was designated as the incoming CEO a couple of months ago but officially takes office now. Cassano has until now served as head of Italian shipping company Grandi Navi Veloci and before that as CEO of Benetton, but previously served as head of Fiat financial services and of European operations for Hertz.

The new slate of directors and executives lead by Montezemolo and Cassano will be tasked with reviving one of Europe's most troubled airlines. The company went bankrupt in 2009 and nearly did again last year until it was bailed out by major investments from the Italian national post office as well as its shareholders and creditors.
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Rome, 26 November 2014 – New Alitalia today announced the composition of the Board of Directors of the company that will become the new Alitalia airline entity from 1 January 2015, and in which Etihad Airways will take a minority stake.

In terms of the airline's governance rules, the Board representation reflects the shareholding structure of the new Alitalia post-closing.

The Board will comprise nine directors. Six directors will be appointed by Alitalia, among whom the Non-Executive Chairman, one independent Director and the jointly designated Chief Executive Officer. Three directors will be appointed by Etihad Airways, one of whom will be the Vice Chairman.

The announcement confirms the appointment of:

Luca Cordero di Montezemolo – Non-Executive Chairman (Alitalia appointed)
James Hogan - Non-Executive Vice Chairman (Etihad appointed)
Silvano Cassano – Chief Executive Officer (Jointly appointed)
Roberto Colaninno - Non-Executive Director and Honorary Chairman (Alitalia appointed)
Giovanni Bisignani - Non-Executive Director (Etihad appointed)
Professor Paolo Colombo - Non-Executive Director (Alitalia appointed)
Antonella Mansi - Non-Executive Director (Alitalia appointed - independent)
Jean Pierre Mustier - Non-Executive Director (Alitalia appointed)
James Rigney - Non-Executive Director (Etihad appointed)

The new Board, which will be appointed for a period of three years, will assume office immediately in order to prepare the implementation of the transaction.

Chairman of the new Alitalia company, Luca Cordero di Montezemolo, said: "I am proud to welcome our new Board as we embark on this exciting phase in our airline's history.

"The diversity and depth of their cumulative experience and knowledge will be pivotal in supporting and guiding the implementation of the business plan and the successful turnaround of Alitalia."

Mr Montezemolo also welcomed the appointment of Silvano Cassano as Chief Executive Officer of the new Alitalia company, who will assume office with immediate effect to prepare the new business plan for the company from 2015 onwards.

Chief Executive of the new Alitalia company, Silvano Cassano, said: "The relaunch of Alitalia is going to be an extremely challenging and exciting project. I'm very proud and honoured to join the Alitalia team".

Mr Cassano has more than 35 years of experience in senior management roles across a number of different industries, both internationally and locally. He also served as Chairman and CEO of Italian shipping company Grandi Navi Veloci, CEO of global fashion brand Benetton Group, CEO of Fiat Auto Financial and Consumer Services, and Vice President European Operations at Hertz Europe.

President and Chief Executive Officer of Etihad Airways, James Hogan, said: "We are very pleased to have received EU regulatory clearance and approval from the Italian Civil Aviation Authorities, (ENAC) to complete the transaction and now look forward to working in partnership with Silvano and the new Alitalia management team in reshaping the airline".

"We have a vision and a sound business plan to establish the right foundations for a sustainable and profitable company, and an efficient operation which will provide Italian travellers with improved connections worldwide, drive increased inbound tourism into the country, and safeguard thousands of Italian jobs".

Mr Colaninno, said: "I would like to thank the Board of "present Alitalia" and Chief Executive Officer, Gabriele Del Torchio, for their service to Alitalia during very challenging times and for their role in negotiating and concluding the equity investment transaction with Etihad Airways, which we expect to close on 31 December 2014."

Luca Cordero di Montezemolo

Luca Cordero di Montezemolo is recognised as one of Italy's leading executives and currently serves as Chairman of Charme Management, the investment fund that he founded in 2002, and Fondazione Telethon, a leading charity in Italy. In addition, he is Vice Chairman of UniCredit and a board member at companies such as Nuovo Transporto Viaggiatori, Kering Group, Poltrona Frau Group and Tod's, amongst others.

Born in 1947, the Italian national served as President of Ferrari for the last 23 years and as Chairman of auto manufacturing giant FIAT from 2004 to 2010.

James Hogan

James Hogan is President and Chief Executive Officer of Etihad Airways. Since 2006 he has led the rapid growth of the UAE's national airline and overseen its transition into the Etihad Aviation Group and the acquisition of minority equity stakes in six airlines.*

He is Vice Chairman of the Executive Committee of the World Travel and Tourism Council (WTTC) and is a member of the International Air Transport Association (IATA) Board of Governors. He serves as Vice Chairman on the Boards of equity partners, airberlin plc, and Jet Airways, and sits on the Board of Virgin Australia.

Silvano Cassano

Silvano Cassano was appointed as CEO designate of new Alitalia in September 2014. In an international career spanning more than three decades, Mr Cassano has also been Chairman and CEO of Italian shipping company Grandi Navi Veloci, CEO of global fashion brand Benetton Group, CEO of Fiat Auto Financial and Consumer Services, and Vice President European Operations at Hertz Europe. In addition, he is a former Board Member of Confitarma (Italian Association of Ship Owners), ABI (Italian Bank Association) and former Chairman of Aniasa (Italian Association of Car Rental and Leasing Companies).

Roberto Colaninno

Roberto Colaninno is Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Piaggio, a leading manufacturer and distributor of two wheeled motor vehicles and compact commercial vehicles, and Chairman of IMMSI, an industrial and property services holding that controls the Piaggio Group. He was also appointed as Alitalia Chairman in January 2009 and remained in the position for five years.

Born in 1943, Mr Colaninno has been a member of Confindustria Management Committee since 2005 and received an honorary degree in Economics and Commerce from Lecce University in 2001.

James Rigney

James Rigney has served as Chief Financial Officer of Etihad Airways, the national airline of the United Arab Emirates, since October 2007 following a four-year tenure as Head of Corporate Strategy at Gulf Air in Bahrain, and senior positions in the Ansett Group and at KPMG and Heller Business Finance. He also sits on the boards of airberlin, Air Serbia and Jet Airways and serves on the Finance Committee of the International Transport Association (IATA).

Mr Rigney is a chartered accountant and holds a Bachelor of Business and a Masters Degree in Business Administration from RMIT University in Melbourne, Australia.

Antonella Mansi

Antonella Mansi currently serves as Manager of the SOL.MAR Group and is a board member of Nuova Solmine and Sol.Bat. She currently serves as President of Nuova Solmine Iberia and Vice-President of Hadri Tanks and is also a constituendo advisory board member of British Telecom Italia and Vice-President for Organisation and Marketing Associative of Confidustria.

She was awarded the 'Cavaliere al Merito della Repubblica Italiana' by President Giorgio Napolitano in 2009.

Giovanni Bisignani

Giovanni Bisignani previously served as Director General and CEO of the International Airport Transport Association (IATA), during which time he played a fundamental role in modernising the international aviation industry and steering airlines through a number of global crises. In addition, he was CEO of Italy's national airline Alitalia, Chairman of the Association of European Airlines, and launched European travel portal Opodo, serving as the company's CEO.

Born in 1946, the Italian national is a graduate of Harvard Business School and currently serves as a board member of Safran in France, and aviation leasing company, AirCastle in the United States. Mr Bisignani is also a visiting professor at Cranfield University School of Engineering.

Paolo A. Colombo

Educated at Bocconi University and New York University, Colombo is a Partner Founder and Chairman of Colombo Associati offering advisory services in corporate finance, specifically M&A, debt restructuring, capital markets, strategic consultancy, corporate governance and fairness opinions. He is a Senior Professor at Bocconi University in Milan.

He served as Chairman of Enel (2011-2014) and as a board member or statutory auditor of many industrial and financial companies, including Eni, Interbanca, Pirelli Pneumatici, RCS Quotidiani, Saipem, Telecom Italia Mobile, Publitalia '80, Versace, Stream, Ansaldo STS, Aviva Vita, Winterthur, Credit Suisse Italy, Banca Intesa, Credit Agricole Assicurazioni Italia, Techint Finanziaria and Internazionale F.C..

He also currently serves on the Board of Directors of Mediaset and is a member of the Statutory Auditors Board of Massimo Moratti Sapa and Gian Marco Moratti Sapa, Humanitas Mirasole, GE Capital Interbanca and Sacbo.

Jean Pierre Mustier

Jean Pierre Mustier is a senior executive at UniCredit, serving as deputy general manager of the global banking and financial services company, in addition to heading its Corporate & Investment Banking (CIB) division, and overlooking its German operations. From January 2015, Mr Mustier will leave his executive functions at UniCredit to join the bank's international advisory board.

He has served as a board member of leading companies worldwide, including the London-based clearing house LCH Clearnet, Paris-based internet bank Boursorama, LA-based asset manager TCW, and Vienna-based UniCredit Bank Austria. He is a French national.

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