UPDATE 1-Alitalia picks Ducati head as new CEO

Thu Apr 18, 2013 1:59pm EDT

(Adds appointment of new CEO at Ducati)

MILAN, April 18 (Reuters) - Italian motorcycle maker Ducati's chief executive, Gabriele del Torchio, has been recruited to lead struggling Italian airline Alitalia back to profitability.

Alitalia said on Thursday Del Torchio, seen as a turnaround specialist, has been assigned all operational responsibilities.

He will replace Andrea Ragnetti, who quit after only a year in the job in February after the struggling airline company posted a 2012 net loss of 280 million euros ($365 million) which had deepened from 69 million euros in 2011.

Ducati has replaced Del Torchio with Claudio Domenicali, who has spent 21 years at the motorcycle maker, most recently as its director general.

Ducati was bought by Volkswagen's division Audi last year. Revenues rose 16 percent to 606 million euros in 2012.

Alitalia, which is 25 percent owned by Air France-KLM , was rescued from bankruptcy in 2008, when it was bought by a consortium of Italian companies including Intesa Sanpaolo, road operator Atlantia and IMMSI , which also controls scooter maker Piaggio. ($1 = 0.7668 euros) (Reporting by Francesca Landini; Editing by Elaine Hardcastle and William Hardy)

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