Generali said a majority of its board members were in favor of retaining chief executive Philippe Donnet in his post for another term, with shareholders of Italy’s largest insurer vying for governance and strategy.
Generali said a majority of non-executive directors expressed appreciation for Donnet’s work at a meeting on Tuesday and welcomed his willingness to be reappointed when the insurer appoints a new board in the spring.
Two people familiar with the matter said eight of the 12 board members present at the meeting were in favor of Donnet.
Generali said the outgoing board would nominate Donnet as CEO if he decided to table his own slate of candidates – as he is allowed to do for the first time after a change in the company’s articles of association in the year last.
Donnet’s renewal has been contested by two major Generali investors, construction magnate Francesco Gaetano Caltagirone and eyewear billionaire Leonardo Del Vecchio.
Caltagirone and Del Vecchio, Generali’s No.2 and No.3 investors respectively, are ready to back an alternative CEO candidate, sources said, while Donnet has the backing of Mediobanca, Generali’s largest shareholder.
Caltagirone and Del Vecchio are also investors in Mediobanca, Italy’s leading investment bank.
A sign that latent tensions are reaching their climax, Del Vecchio and Caltagirone unveiled a consultation pact on Saturday on their combined 11% stake in Generali.
(Reporting by Gianluca Semeraro and Claudia Cristoferi; editing by Valentina Za)
Generali Life Assurance (Thailand) Plc.
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