Finmeccanica CEO Giuseppe Orsi Wants to Split CEO, Chairman Roles

Finmeccanica SpA CEO and Chairman Giuseppe Orsi says he favors separating his two roles, he told Italian daily Il Messaggero in an interview published Sunday.

According to Reuters, Orsi told the newspaper that he had accepted the dual role at the request of the Italian government—the company’s biggest shareholder.

“A group as complex as Finmeccanica needs a chairman who guarantees stability and supports the management, ” Orsi said. “I have always believed so. Even when, at the request of the shareholder, I agreed to take on the dual role.”

Orsi was made chair when Finmeccanica’s former chairman Pier Francesco Guarguaglini resigned as part of a corruption investigation.

Then Orsi himself was accused of corruption earlier this year after a former employee under investigation accused the CEO of bribes to smooth a $724.4 million helicopter contract with India.

Orsi has repeatedly denied the accusations and said the contract was won in full respect of Indian and Italian law.

The executive reiterated that he would quit if the government asked him to, but said he did not see any reason to leave before the approval of the 2013 results.

Italian prime minister Mario Monti and his technocrat government have kept a low profile stance over the issue, but economy minister Vittorio Grilli said last week the government would act in a responsible manner “if and when” it decided to step in.

Finmeccanica will deliver the first batch of helicopters in the so-called VVIP Indian order by December, an Indian defense ministry official confirmed Thursday.

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