Report – Montezemolo becomes Alitalia’s chairman image

Luca Cordero di Montezemolo, the recently ousted Ferrari boss, has been tapped now by Italy’s national airline Alitalia to become its new chairman.

The company is also in the process of tying up with Abu Dhabi-based carrier Etihad Airways, putting the Etihad CEO James Hogan as Montezemolo’s deputy, according to sources that have knowledge of the proceedings. The two persons reporting said that an official appointment of the two has not been made public as the deal that sees Etihad buying 49% of the loss-making airline is still subject to approval from European regulators.

Montezemolo, seen by many as one of Italy’s best-connected and most colorful business leaders, would be a great move for the carrier that was once seen by many, including Hogan, as the “sexiest airline in Europe”.

The former long-time Ferrari chairman stepped down from his role with the Italian super-luxury sports car manufacturer after he clashed with Sergio Marchionne, the chief executive of the Fiat Chrysler Automobiles – the parent company. To leave Ferrari without a scandal, the executive was given a $35 million severance package and he signed a non-compete agreement valid through 2017. Since Marchionne took over as Ferrari’s chairman, the company announced plans to become an independent publicly traded carmaker.

Via Reuters, Automotive News Europe