Lastminute.com: CEO and COO arrested over covid fund misuse claims
Lastminute.com has appointed an interim CEO following the dramatic arrest of its two directors in Switzerland.
The online travel company was rocked on Monday when Fabio Cannavale (CEO) and Andrea Bertoli (COO) were held by Swiss authorities, under investigation for allegedly misusing Covid support funds.
In a statement issued on Monday, the company said it had “resolved to suspend the powers delegated to both” arrested directors for three months.
According to the FT, Five current and former execs were detained as part of the case, with one senior employee released on the weekend. Four, including Bertoli and Cannavale remain under investigation for seven weeks, while prosecutors blocked $7.26m in company accounts.
The investigation focuses Swiss subsidiaries, BravoNext SA, BravoMeta CH SA and LMNext CH SA.
The duo are being investigated by the Public Prosecutor’s Office of the Canton of Ticino, and will be replaced by Laura Amoretti as interim CEO.
Lastminute announced it has launched a search for a new CEO, but in the meantime, the chair of its board, Laurent Foata, said the interim, who has been Amoretti has been the group’s Chief Customer Officer since 2019, “is a very committed and dynamic leader with vision, energy and substantial relevant experience with our group.
“Her contribution will be especially precious at this juncture. We look forward to engaging closely with Laura in her new role as she will lead our business forward in this stage of our journey towards profitable growth in the field of travel”.
The company was founded by a British pair in 1998 and is now based in Switzerland.