Descalzi Will Continue as ENI’s CEO for the Fourth Consecutive, Three Year Term

By Macson Obojeminmoin

Claudio Descalzi will continue his role as one of ENI’s longest running Chief Executive Officers (CEO) in history.

It is official.

Giuseppe Zafarana, an Italian Military General, will replace Lucia Calvosa, the law professor who has been Chairman of ENI’s Board since May 2020.

General Zafarana and Mr. Descalzi’s names are among those of six candidates submitted for the office of Directors by Italy’s Ministry of Economy and Finance (MEF), The candidates’ names are to be approved at the company’s Shareholders’ Meeting on May 10, 2023.

The “Shareholder Ministry of Economy and Finance (MEF)”, as ENI describes it in a statement, is holder of 4.41% of the share capital of ENI SpA. The MEF also owns, through the Cassa Depositi e Prestiti, a further 26.21% stake, for a total of 30.62% of the share capital.

Mr. Descalzi, who joined ENI as a reservoir engineer in 1981, has held the reins of the Italian E&P major for nine years. This re-appointment, for a fourth term of another three years, is clear indication that he has won both the politics and the legal battles of the most important challenge to his reputation. For most of the past half a decade, an arm of the Italian judicial system indicated, consistently, that it was convinced that the company, under his watch, was involved in corrupt dealing with Nigerian officials in the course of the purchase of the Oil Prospecting Licence (OPL) 245, in 2011. The state prosecutor vigorously pursued, in the court of Millan, “a conviction of the current CEO”.  Those charges were dismissed by the court in 2021.

General Giuseppe Zafarana has been the commander general of the Guardia di Finanza since May 2019. His military career began in 1981, attending the 81st “Osum II” course at the Corps Academy. Put into service in 1985, he has held numerous operational positions in Lombardy, Veneto, Lazio, Calabria and Sicily. In particular, he commanded the Lieutenancy of Conegliano Veneto (1985 – 1987) and the Company of Lamezia Terme (1987 – 1989); he assumed positions in the leading investigative departments of the Corps, such as the Central Tax Police Unit (1991 – 1995) and the Tax Police Unit of Palermo (1997 – 2000); he was Provincial Commander of Rome (2003 – 2008) and Regional Commander of Lombardy (2015-2016). Zafarana was Interregional Commander of Central Italy, to whom command, coordination and control functions are attributed to the Departments located in the Lazio, Umbria, Abruzzo and Sardinia Regions. He was awarded numerous decorations and honours, including that of Knight Grand Cross of the Order of Merit of the Italian Republic.

The other candidates submitted by the Ministry for the office of Directors include: Cristina Sgubin, Elisa Baroncini, Federica Seganti and Roberto Ciciani.


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