Stefano Cao

Eni names candidate for Saipem CEO

MILAN, April 3, 2015 – Eni has nominated Stefano Cao to take over as CEO of Italian oilfield services company Saipem.

The proposal will be voted on at a Saipem shareholders’ meeting on April 30. Eni’s reason for seeking a leadership change was not made public.


Cao was previously the executive chairman of Saipem, as well as a manager at Eni and head of its core exploration and production division. If the proposal is approved, Umberto Vergine, CEO since December 2012, will hand over the reins.

The move comes at a time when Saipem is saddled by debts and recovering from a corruption scandal surrounding its work in Algeria that saw former CEO Paolo Scaroni resign.

Eni holds the majority stake in Saipem, with 43 percent. Other large shareholders include US mutual fund firm Dodge & Cox, with 10.4 percent, and the People’s Bank of China, with 2 percent.

Last year, the Italian super-major made an abortive attempt to sell its stake in Saipem, a move meant to ease some of the oilfield services company’s debt.

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