The business on...Francesco Guarguaglini, Former chairman, Finmeccanica


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The Independent Online

Former chairman?

Yes, he's resigned his post at the Italian defence and aerospace group amid corruption allegations that saw his board strip him of most of his powers. They went to Giuseppi Orsi, who replaced Mr Guarguaglini in April as chief executive ofFinmeccanica, and with whom he has since clashed.

Only in Italy?

Indeed, though it should be said that Mr Guarguaglini denies all allegations against him and they have not been proved.

So what is he supposed to have done?

There have been several claims, but the latest allegation is that one division of the company, Selex, over-stated the value of contracts with the civil aviation agency, with the extra cash used to pay off politicians. Selex is run by one Marina Grossi, the wife of Mr Guarguaglini.

Oh dear. Are the authorities involved?

Italian prosecutors are investigating and there have already been a number of resignations at the company.

So the chairman had no choice but to go?

Italian politicians wanted him out, but Mr Guarguaglini had clung to the post, arguing that he was innocent until proven guilty. But Finmeccanica is a third-owned by the State and the board clearly felt it had to act.

An ignominious end then?

Sort of – particularly since he's been running the show for the best part of a decade. Still, the €4m pay-off ought to soften the blow – and he'll get another €1.5m in a year's time if he doesn't go on to work for a Finmeccanica competitor.