Flavio Cattaneo and TIM have parted company despite the Italy-based operator crediting the outgoing CEO with completing a “major and extraordinary turnaround of the business”.

The two parties said Cattaneo was leaving by mutual consent on 28 July with a severance deal worth €25 million, €2.1 million of which is dependent on him not taking a position with a rival company over the next 12 months.

TIM announced last Friday (21 July) that a board meeting would be taking place to discuss the termination of Cattaneo’s 14-month stint at the helm.

“The company thanks Mr Flavio Cattaneo for the major task he undertook,” TIM said in a statement.

“It is universally recognised that such a recovery has never before been seen, making it the first among the major telecommunications companies that were formerly incumbent in Europe and the US, in terms of speed of growth of all main top line drivers, and of profitability, as well achieving the greatest coverage in fibre.”

Since arriving from high-speed train operator Nuovo Trasporto Viaggiatori last April, Cattaneo has overseen TIM’s best financial year since 2007 with revenues in Italy, group EBITDA and net profit all increasing in 2016.

The trend continued in the first three months of this year, with Group revenues and EBITDA up 2.6 percent and 11 percent respectively.

However, rumours have been rife for months that Cattaneo’s relationship with Vivendi, TIM’s major shareholder, was strained.

The France-based media company installed its CEO Arnaud de Puyfontaine as Chairman of TIM on 1 June.

Cattaneo’s predecessor was also rumoured to have fallen out with Vivendi when he quit in March 2016.

TIM made no mention of its plans to replace Cattaneo.

It said it planned to embark on “a second phase” of its turnaround plan, which it described as “a conventional company relaunch that pursues the targets set by Mr Flavio Cattaneo, first and foremost, the fibre plan”. 

Read more: TIM to be Europe’s first “official mobile broadcaster” for the Olympic Games

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