The board of Italian defence and aerospace company Finmeccanica has named Chief Operating Officer Alessandro Pansa as interim Chief Executive following the arrest of Giuseppe Orsi on suspicion of corruption.

The board had decided in an emergency meeting yesterday that Pansa would take over running the company until the next shareholders’ meeting on April 14.

Orsi, the company’s chair and CEO, was arrested on Tuesday for the alleged payment of bribe to secure a $755-million contract to sell 12 helicopters to India. Orsi, who has been jailed, denies wrongdoing. The chief of Finmeccanica’s unit AgustaWestland has been placed under house arrest.

Premier Mario Monti said on state television that he expects the Government to propose removing Orsi from his post at the shareholders’ meeting.

Shares of Finmeccanica, which is 30 per cent state-owned, dropped 4 per cent yesterday.

(This article was published on February 14, 2013)
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