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ROME--Saipem SpA (SPM.MI) is the subject of a corruption investigation, and its chief executive has stepped down, the board of the Italian company said Wednesday.
Pietro Franco Tali offered to resign as CEO, even though he is not a subject of the judicial probe, saying it would allow the company a better opportunity to defend itself, the board said. Umberto Vergine, a board member at the Italian oil-field services provider since 2010, will take over as chief executive, Saipem said.
The company has also suspended Pietro Varone, chief operating officer of its engineering and construction business unit, Saipem said, indicating the executive has been individually notified by magistrates that he is a possible suspect in the corruption probe.
Italian judicial procedures require that subjects of probes to be informed they are suspects. Such notification does not constitute a formal charge or even allegation.
Saipem's shares were suspended from trading around midday Wednesday.
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