Switzerland: Online travel company Lastminute.com has appointed Laura Amoretti as interim CEO following the arrest of former CEO Fabio Cannavale and COO Andrea Bertoli for potential fraud.
Swiss authorities are holding Cannavale and Bertoli in custody as an investigation into the alleged misuse of Covid-19 state aid funds takes place.
Five current and former directors of the company, including Cannavale and Bertoli, have been detained. One senior manager was released over the weekend whilst the remaining four could be held in custody for up to seven weeks.
Between March 2020 and February 2022, Lastminute.com received 28.5 million Swiss francs in benefits. As part of the case, prosecutors have blocked seven million Swiss francs in company accounts.
On Monday, the board of directors at Lastminute.com suspended the powers delegated to Cannavale and Bertoli for a period of three months. The company’s chief customer officer Amoretti has been named as interim chief executive while it searches for a permanent replacement.
Laurent Foata, chairman of the board, said: “Laura is a very committed and dynamic leader with vision, energy and substantial relevant experience with our group. Her contribution will be especially precious at this juncture. We look forward to engaging closely with Laura in her new role as she will lead our business forward in this stage of our journey towards profitable growth in the field of travel.”
In a separate release, Foata said: “We are confident that management behaved respectfully vis-à-vis institutions and employees throughout the dramatic and unprecedented circumstances of the pandemic. The company will work alongside the Swiss authority to quickly clarify the matters.”