* Telco to propose Recchi to chair Telecom Italia -sources
* Telecom Italia shareholders to vote on new board in April
* Telecom Italia CEO Patuano to stay on -source
* PM Renzi seen seeking new faces for state-owned companies
(Adds details on Telecom Italia board renewal)
MILAN, March 18 Telecom Italia's top
investor will propose ENI Chairman Giuseppe Recchi as
its candidate to chair the company, Italy's No. 1 telecoms
group, two sources with direct knowledge of the situation told
Reuters on Tuesday.
The board of Telco, Telecom Italia's biggest shareholder,
will meet on Wednesday to approve a list of board candidates
ahead of a shareholder meeting in April that is due to choose a
new board for Telecom Italia.
The chief executive of Telecom Italia, Marco Patuano, who is
trying to turn around the group by cutting debt and boosting
investment in a high-speed network, is set to stay on, several
sources close to the sharehoders told Reuters last week.
The choice of Recchi, who is considered independent from
Telco, is an attempt to appease rebel shareholder Marco Fossati,
who has been saying that Telco was too aligned with the
interests of Spain's Telefonica, which is both an
investor in Telco and a competitor of Telecom Italia.
Telco, the investment vehicle owned by Telefonica and its
Italian partners Generali, Intesa Sanpaolo and Mediobanca,
controls Telecom Italia with a 22.4 percent stake.
It was not possible to contact Recchi for a comment. ENI and
Telco declined to comment.
At Telecom Italia, Recchi would replace Aldo Minucci, who
became interim chairman following the resignation in October of
long-standing Chairman and CEO Franco Bernabe.
Recchi, a former executive at General Electric and a
member of the European Advisory Board of private equity group
Blackstone, was appointed chairman of Eni in 2011.
His mandate at the oil major, which is partly state-owned,
expires in May, when Eni is due to renew his board. Eni CEO
Paolo Scaroni, now in his third term in office, also comes up
for review at the shareholder meeting.
One industry ministry source said on Monday the new
centre-left government of Matteo Renzi could opt for new faces
to fill the top jobs at Eni and other state-owned companies.
(Reporting by Paola Arosio and Lisa Jucca, additional reporting
by Stephen Jewkes, editing by Silvia Aloisi and Leslie Adler)