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Finmeccanica Names New COO

Dec. 11, 2013 - 05:57PM   |  
By TOM KINGTON   |   Comments
Sergio De Luca is Finmeccanica's new chief operating officer.
Sergio De Luca is Finmeccanica's new chief operating officer. (Finmeccanica)
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ROME — Italian defense group Finmeccanica has appointed a new chief operating officer (COO) to work with CEO Alessandro Pansa, the firm said Dec. 11.

Sergio De Luca, who will take over the role Jan. 1, has previously served as CEO of Ansaldo STS, the railway signalling firm controlled by Finmeccanica.

Hitherto, Pansa has covered both the CEO and COO roles at Finmeccanica since his appointment in February following the arrest on suspicion of corruption of previous CEO Giuseppe Orsi.

Prior to Orsi’s arrest, Pansa had been COO at the firm.

In its statement, Finmeccanica said the changes were “part of the process of implementing new corporate governance guidelines aimed at strengthening the governance structure of the Group.”

De Luca, 63, joined Ansaldo in 1975 and has been CEO of Ansaldo STS since 2007.

Orsi’s trial, connected to alleged corruption in the sale of helicopters to India, is underway.

Finmeccanica came late to the business of restructuring, but managers say they hope they have now done enough to cut personnel in order to survive the downturn.

Asked on Dec. 10 about the EADS job cuts, Pansa said: “Every one has their strategy — we have also cut our personnel.”

In April, the firm announced cuts of 2,500 at its Selex ES electronics unit, which had until then employed 17,000 at facilities in Italy and the UK. Some 500 of the cuts were to be made in the UK, amounting to 10 percent of its UK workforce.

In Italy, Finmeccanica unit Alenia Aeronautica was working to reduce its workforce in 2011 through early pensions.

The 150 firms signed up to Italy’s aerospace and defense industry association AIAD employ 52,000 staff, although smaller suppliers and indirect employment takes the total to 200,000, said AIAD general secretary Carlo Festucci. Turnover stands at €14.5 billion.

“It’s almost impossible to say what that number will be in five years because it depends on European integration and new programs,” he said. “But I do not expect it to rise.”

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