Iliad has sprung a surprise by appointing a novice to run its soon-to-be launched mobile subsidiary in Italy.

Benedetto Levi had been Country Manager for online rail ticketing service Trainline in Italy until France-based Iliad came calling.

The 29-year-old Italian has also co-founded ExtraVerso, a company that makes smartphone accessories, and worked as a consultant to a pizza chain in Paris during his short career.

Levi has a degree in Logistics and Production Engineering and completed a Masters in management in 2013.

Beyond announcing the appointment, Iliad has not commented on why it had chosen Levi.

Iliad gained entry to the Italian mobile market after acquiring spectrum and site assets as a quid pro quo for the merger of Wind and Three in 2016.

While the new Wind Tre venture launched in January last year, Iliad Italy has yet to come to market.

Last September, Iliad said it had invested €58 million to secure a backhaul network, deploy its core network, set up roaming solutions and interconnection contracts, and recruit a team in Italy.

When it does launch, it will be competing against Telecom Italia and Vodafone as well as Wind Tre.

Iliad has a reputation for shaking things up, having taken over 18 percent of the mobile market in France since launching with its low-cost offering in 2012.

Last month, it revealed it had a taken a majority stake in Ireland’s eir.

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