Scandal-hit Finmeccanica SpA, Italy’s biggest defense contractor, has appointed Alessandro Pansa as the new CEO to succeed Giuseppe Orsi, who was arrested this week on charges of tax fraud and corruption including alleged pay-offs in the Rs 3,600 crore VVIP chopper deal with India.
“The Board of Directors of Finmeccanica... confirms that the Company is fully operational, and has resolved to confer to Mr Alessandro Pansa, the powers and duties previously held by Mr Giuseppe Orsi, insuring comprehensive management of the Company and the Group,” the company said in a statement.
It said that Mr. Pansa will exercise these powers under the title of Chief Executive Officer and Chief Operating Officer.
The Board, which met hastily on Wednesday, also resolved to confer the role of Vice Chairman to Admiral Guido Venturoni, the most senior member of the Board and Lead Independent Director.
The Board resolved to convene the Shareholder Meeting on April 2 at the first call and on the April 15 at the second call, in order to complete the composition of the Board.
Italian police had on Tuesday arrested Italian state-controlled defence group Finmeccanica SpA’s chief in a corruption probe centred on the sale of helicopters to India.
Orsi was arrested for alleged bribes paid to secure the sale of 12 AgustaWestland executive aircraft when he was head of the Finmeccanica helicopter unit.
Italian investigators have alleged in a preliminary inquiry submitted in an Italian court that the defence firm had bribed former Indian Air Force chief S P Tyagi to swing the controversial AgustaWestland VVIP chopper deal in favour of the company.
Mr. Tyagi has denied the allegations. The Defence Ministry in India has ordered a CBI probe into the charges.