March 18, 2017 / 1:39 PM / 2 years ago

UPDATE 2-Italy proposes Profumo as new Leonardo CEO, confirms Eni, Enel chiefs

(Adds proposed new CEO of Terna)

By Gavin Jones

ROME, March 18 (Reuters) - The Italian Treasury on Saturday proposed that veteran banker Alessandro Profumo be named the new chief executive of defence and aerospace company Leonardo , in a round of new appointments at state-controlled firms.

Profumo, who stepped down as chairman of troubled lender Monte dei Paschi di Siena in August 2015, takes over from Mauro Moretti, who has cut debt and streamlined the company’s business to focus on core activities.

However, Moretti’s position was undermined when he was sentenced in January to seven years in prison after being held responsible for one of Italy’s worst train accidents while he was head of the state railways.

The CEOs of oil firm Eni and utility Enel , respectively Claudio Descalzi and Francesco Starace, were both confirmed for a new mandate, while Roberta Neri was also confirmed as the head of air traffic controller Enav .

The Treasury proposed that Matteo Del Fante, head of power grid company Terna, be appointed CEO of the Post Office , replacing Francesco Caio.

Caio, a former McKinsey manager, was appointed as CEO of the Post Office in May 2014 to orchestrate the turnaround and privatisation of the company as part of the reform agenda of former prime minister Matteo Renzi.

However, while the government sold a 35 percent stake in October 2015, plans to sell another minority stake, initially due in autumn last year, have made no progress due to disagreements within the ruling Democratic Party.

Sources also told Reuters the government was unhappy that a consortium led by Poste Italiane pulled out of the race to buy UniCredit’s asset manager Pioneer, which has big holdings of Italian government debt and ended up being sold to France’s Amundi.

Del Fante will be replaced as CEO of Terna by Luigi Ferraris, who is currently the chief financial officer at the Post Office and previously held the same position at Enel.

Most of the appointments were widely expected after leaks to the press, and will all need to be confirmed by upcoming shareholder meetings at the companies, but this is considered a formality. (Editing by Silvia Aloisi and Stephen Powell)

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