* Treasury proposes Descalzi as new Eni CEO
* Starace nominated Enel CEO, Moretti slated for top
* Two women proposed to chair Eni, Enel
* Shake-up tests PM's pledge to end cronyism
(Adds details of Poste Italiane CEO, background on Marcegaglia
By Stephen Jewkes and Danilo Masoni
MILAN, April 14 Italy proposed new managers for
state-backed companies such as oil major Eni and defence group
Finmeccanica on Monday in a shake-up that tests Prime Minister
Matteo Renzi's pledge to break with old-style cronyism.
Renzi, 39, whose campaign for change has earned him the
nickname "Demolition Man," chose a combination of maverick
insiders and successful private businesswomen in an attempt to
prove Italy was leaving behind a tradition of dishing out jobs
according to political horse-trading rather than merit.
In a statement late on Monday, the Italian treasury, which
holds core stakes in some large listed companies, proposed
veteran exploration head Claudio Descalzi as chief executive for
Eni, replacing Paolo Scaroni after three terms in
For the top job at scandal-hit Finmeccanica, the
government put forward Mauro Moretti, known for turning around
previously loss-making state railways Ferrovie dello Stato.
Francesco Starace, currently at the helm of renewable energy
group Enel Green Power, was the government's choice as
the new CEO of Italy's biggest utility group Enel,
stepping into the shoes of long-standing CEO Fulvio Conti.
"The government has probably listened to the market as the
list of candidates, especially at Eni and Enel, is a good choice
for international investors," a leading energy sector executive
said on the condition of anonymity.
Emma Marcegaglia and Patrizia Grieco, two prominent
businesswomen from the private sector, were proposed as
chairwomen of Eni and Enel respectively, the first time women
have made it to the chairmanship at the two companies.
Half of Renzi's cabinet ministers are women and the prime
minister has said he wanted to boost the participation of women
in the boardroom.
Italy's postal service, which is due to be partially
privatised, could also have a chairwoman if the government's
candidate, former European Parliament member Luisa Todini, is
confirmed in the role.
Renzi said the chairman salary at state-backed companies
would be capped at 238,000 euros ($328,800)a year.
All the candidates will have to be confirmed in their roles
by shareholders at annual meetings due in May.
Renzi said he was "especially pleased" with the strong
female contingent at top state-controlled companies. It remains
to be seen whether they will be given executive powers, insiders
Renzi had promised to listen to the market in choosing
executives at state companies, who get nominated every three
Veteran Eni executive Descalzi, who has helped focus Eni on
lucrative resource discoveries, has been at the company since
1981 and is one of the most respected executives in the oil and
Experience also played a big role in the choice of
58-year-old Starace, a nuclear engineer by training who is also
a former head of the utility's power generation business at the
time Enel acquired Spanish utility Endesa.
Moretti, an outspoken executive who was seen as a possible
candidate for Industry Minister in Renzi's government, will have
the delicate task of turning the page at Finmeccanica after
judicial scandals that have hit the defence group while it seeks
to join an expected consolidation of the defence industry.
His appointment does not come without controversy. He
recently drew criticism after threatening to walk away from a
job paying 850,000 euros a year, complaining that the head of
German rail group Deutsche Bahn earned three times his salary.
Marcegaglia, Grieco and Todini, meanwhile, have all cut
their teeth at household-name Italian organisations.
Marcegaglia is co-chief executive of her family's steel
group and the only woman to have been boss of Italy's main
business lobby Confindustria, a role which has been filled by
bastions of Italian industry including Fiat founder
Grieco is president of 105 year-old computer maker Olivetti
and Todini is a board member at state broadcaster RAI, as well
as chairing construction company Todini, part of Salini
(Additional reporting by Isla Binnie, Writing by Stephen Jewkes
and Lisa Jucca; Editing by Janet Lawrence and David Gregorio)