"These are Italy's age-old problems, but Alexander Stille, a Columbia University professor and an expert on Italy, argues that this moment is different. While the economy expanded, from the 1950s to the 1990s, Italians would tolerate bad behavior from their leaders."
"We don't have a Google," "We can't imagine in Italy that a 30-year-old opens a business in a garage."
Dear Dr. Franco Bernabè, I heard about your appointment as Managing Director of Telecom Italia and decided to write you an open letter. You were kicked out of the chair in 1999, the same chair that you are once again about to take over. At the time, you were in favour of forming an alliance with Deutsche Telecom and preventing Telecom Italia from being indebted to the tune of tens of billions of Euro to the "courageous captains" Gnutti and Colaninno, who "bought" the company by getting into debt. Your attempt failed due to the opposition of Massimo D'Alema, Chairman of the Board at that time, who favoured entry into the largest company in the Country of the capitalists with patched trousers. Subsequently, Colaninno was convicted of preferential bankruptcy in the Italcase case, Gnutti for insider trading and D'Alema is now involved in the Unipol case in which Consorte and Sacchetti have been convicted. You now find a company that is more indebted, with fewer resources, with a reduced international presence, minus thousands of employees and companies sold off, unbundled or closed down. A company that has missed every boat in the past eight years and that has only survived thanks to what is essentially a politically sponsored monopoly. The management currently in charge of your former company is made up of people, and here I refer specifically to Carlo Buora and Riccardo Ruggiero, which have allowed or ignored the creation of the most widespread espionage centre in the entire history of the Republic. There are thousands of files on people who were spied upon, for which million of Euro of company money was paid out, of which the management was totally unaware. Tronchetti and Buora, an unbreakable couple, brought people such as Tavaroli with them from Pirelli and entrusted them with Telecom's Security while they knew nothing. I tell you this in the hope that you will have no hesitation in dismissing the management team that has taken Telecom to the brink of the abyss. The go-ahead for your appointment came from the appointment committee of Mediobanca, consisting of Rampi, Bollorè, Tronchetti and Geronzi. This is not a good recommendation. We know Tronchetti and Geronzi well and so do you. I would have preferred it if your appointment was made by the majority of shareholders, also involving the minority shareholders that are continually impoverished by every decision that is made. However, this was not to be. I ask that you take immediate action to give minority shareholders an appropriate voice in Board meetings and hope that you listen to me. Following his appointment, Tronchetti expressed the hope that: " the work carried out by the front-line employees be appreciated, namely those employees that have contributed to the company's economic and technological success and the important financial restructuring, guaranteeing good results through their professionalism, even during the long period of instability". You, instead, should kick out all these managers that have taken the company to the wall, because the only great things they have are their stock option and their salaries. I will be following your progress with interest and in 2008 I will be ready for the share action." Beppe Grillo
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