Italy proposes Descalzi as new Eni CEO in broad state firm shake-up

MILAN Mon Apr 14, 2014 3:09pm EDT

MILAN (Reuters) - Italy on Monday tried to breathe fresh air into state-backed companies, making a clean sweep of top management at firms such as oil major Eni and defense group Finmeccanica in a test of Prime Minister Matteo Renzi's pledge to break with old-style cronyism.

The Italian Treasury, which holds core stakes in some of Italy's largest listed companies, proposed insider and exploration head Claudio Descalzi as Chief Executive for Eni (ENI.MI), replacing Paolo Scaroni after three terms in office.

For the top job at scandal-hit Finmeccanica (SIFI.MI), the government put forward Mauro Moretti, known for turning around previously loss-making state railways group Ferrovie dello Stato.

Francesco Starace, currently at the helm of renewable energy group Enel Green Power (EGPW.MI), was the government's choice as the new CEO of Italy's biggest utility group Enel ENEL.MI, stepping into the shoes of long-standing CEO Fulvio Conti.

Emma Marcegaglia and Patrizia Grieco, two prominent Italian businesswomen, were proposed as chairwomen of Eni and Enel respectively, an attempt by the government to boost women participation in top boardrooms.

(Reporting by Milan newsroom)