Head of Excite Italy to run Tiscali UK

Everyone say 'hi' to Sergio Cellini

Tiscali SpA has appointed the current head of portal Excite Italy to run Tiscali's new unified operation in the UK.

It's not known when Sergio Cellini will take up his role as Managing Director of Tiscali UK but it's likely to be after June 1 - by which time all the jobs cuts at Tiscali UK's operation will be finalised.

After all, may as well start with a clean sheet and let someone else do the dirty work, no?

His appointment was announced internally last week - at about the same time it was confirmed that LineOne's Mary Turner would head the consumer ISP business in the UK and LibertySurf's Stéphane Huet would head up the b2b side of the operation.

An internal memo said: "Following from the Chairman's (Renato Soru) announcement on 10th May appointing Sergio Cellini as Managing Director, we would like to take this opportunity to welcome Sergio to our UK organisation. Sergio brings us considerable experience from Excite-Italy."

A spokesman for Tiscali UK denied Cellini's appointment.

Tiscali SpA acquired 70 per cent of Excite Italy in February.

However, as revealed yesterday by The Register, Cellini's job will be make the UK EBITDA positive by Q4 and to capture the "business benefits from integration". He will also be charge with integrating "World Online, LibertySurf and LineOne and further possible acquisitions" into one Tiscali operation while making sure it's part of a Tiscali International. He will also help conduct a strategic overview of the "transition into a fully integrated Telco/ISP.

Forty-something Cellini has been on the board of Excite Italy since 1988 and also spent time as MD of Newspaper Publishing - publisher of the Independent in London. No doubt his contacts within the British media will help as he tried to get Tiscali UK off the ground.

Heaven knows, his "PR" machine could do with a kick up the backside. ®

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