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Finmeccanica names interim CEO

Wednesday - 2/13/2013, 3:10pm  ET

AP Business Writer

MILAN (AP) -- The board of Italian defense and aerospace company Finmeccanica has named Chief Operating Officer Alessandro Pansa as interim chief executive following the arrest of Giuseppe Orsi on suspicion of corruption.

The board decided in an emergency meeting Wednesday that Pansa would take over running the company until the next shareholders' meeting on April 14.

Orsi, the company's chair and CEO, was arrested Tuesday for the alleged payment of bribes to secure a EUR560 million ($755 million) contract to sell 12 helicopters to India. Orsi, who has been jailed, denies wrongdoing. The chief of Finmeccanica's unit AgustaWestland has been placed under house arrest.

Premier Mario Monti said on state television that he expects the government to propose removing Orsi from his post at the shareholders' meeting.

Shares in Finmeccanica, which is 30 percent state-owned, dropped 4 percent to EUR4.23 in Wednesday trading.

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