CESARE Geronzi, the longstanding chairman of Italian insurance giant Generali, resigned last night after a dramatic series of rows that had blighted the company for months.
The turmoil had seen two independent directors leave after arguments between factions loyal to Geronzi and those loyal to chief executive Giovanni Perissinotto.
The matter came to a head after board members tabled a no-confidence vote that was expected to get majority support at an emergency meeting yesterday, but Geronzi quit before the vote.
The company said that he had walked out “as a result of the situation that has developed owing to differences that prevent his involvement in Generali”.
The resignation of the 76-year-old marks the end of an era in Italian business circles – and likely the end of a high-flying career for Geronzi, former chief of Capitalia and Mediobanca.
Generali’s shares rallied after the news, closing up three per cent.