Luca di Montezemolo quits as chairman of Italian high-speed train company image

Ferrari chairman Luca Cordero di Montezemolo on Wednesday resigned as CEO of Nuovo Trasporto Viaggiatori (NTV), Europe’s first private operator of high-speed trains.

The move comes almost a year after NTV launched services and as the Ferrari boss becomes increasingly involved with his Italia Futura movement that could offer political candidates in the 2013 general elections. Nuovo Trasporto Viaggiatori, which runs the red-nosed Italo trains, said in a statement the decision was aimed at avoiding “excessive identification” of the operator with its founder.

“My growing professional commitments force me to step back now that the company is fully operational.I will continue to contribute to the success of this company, as shareholder and board member,” Montezemolo was quoted as saying by Reuters.

Montezemolo, who was appointed this month as vice chairman of Italy’s biggest bank UniCredit, founded NTV along with his friend Diego Della Valle, chairman of luxury goods company Tod’s. Montezemolo’s position at NTV will be taken by Antonello Perricone, former chief executive of Italian publisher RCS Mediagroup.

Since it was founded in 2006, NTV has invested 1 billion euros to shake up train travel in Italy promising fast trips and deluxe service. French railway operator SNCF has a 20 percent share in NTV.