ITALY: Recently-appointed Minister of Infrastructure & Transport Danilo Toninelli announced the removal of the board of national railway FS Group on July 25. ‘We are the government of change’ said Toninelli, a member of the right-wing Five Star Movement party.

A new board for 2018-20 was named on July 30, with Gianluigi Vittorio Castelli as Chairman and Gianfranco Battisti as CEO. Other members are Flavio Nogara, Andrea Mentasti, Cristina Pronello, Francesca Moraci and Wanda Ternau.

Battisti was previously Managing Director of FS subsidiary Sistemi Urbani, while Castelli was CEO of NUGO, FS’s multimodal transport planning app.

Toninelli said the new board’s focus should be on improving the quality of services used by daily commuters, with less emphasis on high speed services. The government would review of the planned Lyon – Torino high speed line project, he said, and whether FS should retain responsibility for motorway construction and maintenance company Anas, which was transferred to the group last December.

Outgoing CEO Renato Mazzoncini, who had led the company since December 2015, issued a farewell message defending the previous board’s results. He said the number of passengers had increased by 25% between 2014 and 2018, and FS had become a major player in European market with a presence in Greece, Germany, the Netherlands, the UK, France and Switzerland.