Livio Buttignol appointed Deputy Chairman. Gianmario Tondato Da Ruos named Chief Executive Officer


Tuesday, February 25, 2003 - 17:30

At a meeting today chaired by Gilberto Benetton, the Autogrill S.p.A. Board of Directors decided to convene the Shareholders’ Meeting for April 24 on first call and May 5 on second call.

The Board also decided – in light of the increasingly rapid rate of change on its business markets – to strengthen its top management team. “Clear understanding of market trends and timely assessment of their impact on related systems are vital to ensure winning strategies for our organization,” said Autogrill Chairman Gilberto Benetton. “To help us achieve our objectives, we shall be setting up activities of enormous importance for Autogrill and its shareholders, to be headed by managers of the highest caliber.”

One of the new developments is a change in mission for Livio Buttignol, whose priority will be to improve corporate value by optimizing Autogrill’s competitive potential and leveraging its excellent relations in the national and international industry.

Having obtained successful and constantly improving results as Chief Executive Officer, Livio Buttignol has now been appointed to the post of Deputy Chairman. He will report to the Board of Directors and the Board’s Chairman, Gilberto Benetton, with whom he will set objectives and guidelines.

The post of Chief Executive Officer is to be assigned to Gianmario Tondato Da Ruos, currently President and Chief Operating Officer at HMSHost, Autogrill S.p.A.’s American subsidiary. Tondato’s appointment is a recognition for the excellent results achieved by HMSHost in the last two years, in particular since the tragic events of September 11, 2001. In 2002 Autogrill’s American subsidiary grew its operations by 9.8% at constant exchange rates, reporting 9% growth (on a like-for-like basis) in its airport business, set against a 5.2% slowdown in passenger traffic.

“Through his successful experience in the USA, Gianmario Tondato will bring international knowhow of the highest level that will ensure Autogrill fresh impetus and full confidence in taking on new challenges in its main concession channels in the USA, Europe and the rest of the world,” said Livio Buttignol.

Gianmario Tondato Da Ruos will take over as Chief Executive on the next Shareholders’ Meeting that will approve the 2002 financial statements.

Operations at HMSHost, which accounts for 54% of Group net sales, will continue to be headed by the CEO John J. McCarthy.