MILAN (AFX) - The resignation of Jean-Cyril Spinetta, CEO of Air
Italian airline and is a "personal setback", said infrastructure
minister Antonio Di Pietro.
He added, "The fact that a director resigns ahead of Alitalia's privatisation is a personal setback and a move that weakens the board when it should be working flat out," to prepare the airline for its privatisation.
Alitalia announced Spinetta's resignation this morning. The move comes ahead of a board meeting scheduled on Friday and could cripple Alitalia, whose board needs at least three directors to function under the company's by-laws.
With Spinetta's resignation the number of directors falls to two. Air France-KLM said simply that Spinetta "can no longer be on the board" in view of the Italian government's privatisation process for Alitalia and the fact that Air France is a business partner of the airline.
Air France is a possible takeover candidate for Alitalia. Italian prime minister Romano Prodi previously said he would accept a takeover by the French if they make "a clear and firm offer."
Bids for Alitalia have to be presented by Jan 29.
Want more analysis like this? CAPA Membership gives you access to all news and analysis on the site, along with access to many areas of our comprehensive databases and toolsets.
Find out more and take a free trial.