Monday, April 15, 2013

Ducati CEO In Pole For Alitalia's Top Seat

Gabriele Del Torchio, chief executive of Italian motorcycle maker Ducati, is the front-runner to take the driver's seat at loss-making Alitalia, Italian newspapers reported on Saturday.
Alitalia's former chief executive Andrea Ragnetti quit after only a year in the job in February as the struggling airline reported a net loss of USD$367 million in 2012.
Alitalia, 25 percent owned by Air France-KLM, suffered last year from a drop in demand for air travel amid the euro zone debt crisis and recession in Italy. The Alitalia board is expected to name a new chief executive next week, Il Corriere della Sera said without citing their sources. Il Messaggero said the board could meet on April 18.
"This is an idea, I haven't signed anything yet," Del Torchio, known as a turnaround expert at Ducati, told Il Corriere della Sera.
Ducati was bought by Volkswagen's Audi division last year. Revenue rose 16 percent to EUR€606 million in 2012.
Alitalia was rescued from bankruptcy in 2008, when it was bought by a consortium made up of Italian companies including Intesa Sanpaolo, road operator Atlantia and IMMSI, which also controls scooter maker Piaggio.
Air France-KLM, which has held its stake in Alitalia since January 2009, has said it will probably wait until at least 2014 before using an option to take control of the airline.
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