Olivetti has ditched its executive committee, which was set up last September in the wake of Carlo De Benedetti's removal. The sale of the PC vendor to a finance company is expected to be announced before the end of the year.
The troubled Italian firm said the five-member committee was no longer needed, and that its removal showed a return to normality. Debts for the month of October were L3.028 trillion ($2 billion), up L12 billion from September.
The move also means that for the first time in the company's history there is no De Benedetti family member holding an executive role at Olivetti.
Carlo De Benedetti's son Rodolfo had been a member of the committee.
But members of the family will remain on the board, and De Benedetti himself is still the largest shareholder.
Talel Shakerchi, head of European equities at Old Mutual, an Olivetti shareholder, said: 'Perhaps this reflects a change in management style more than anything else.'
He speculated that Robert Colaninno, Olivetti chief executive officer, was planning to make more decisions himself.
The company is keen to increase the board's influence over management.
Michele Pacitti, an analyst at HSBC James Capel, said: 'It is a bit premature to say Olivetti is in a normal operating condition. A lot still needs to be done.'
Giuseppe Kuszli, director of the server business unit at Olivetti Personal Computers, confirmed that the PC company was in the process of being sold and that the buyer is a financial group, not a computer manufacturer.
Kuszli was optimistic that an announcement would be made in December, but remained cautious. 'At this stage, the deal could still fall through,' he said.
The confirmation of a deal ended weeks of speculation, during which manufacturers such as Acer and NEC were tipped as possible buyers.
Olivetti PC has plans for an aggressive push into the intranet market.
It has announced a new range of Netstrada servers, which will act as more expensive and higher performance sister products to the current Systema range.
The servers are available now and range in price from #4,000 to #27,000.
Olivetti PC has also brought out a new low-end server to add to its Systema range.
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