Fiat bids farewell to Agnelli

 

MR GIANNI Agnelli, Italy's most powerful businessman, stood down after 30 years as chairman of Fiat yesterday and handed over the reins of the country's biggest industrial group to Mr Cesare Romiti.

The charismatic, silver haired Mr Agnelli, known to millions of Italians simply as L'Avvocato (The lawyer), bade farewell at a board meeting at the group's headquarters in Turin.

Plans for a smooth hand over have been ruffled by a judicial investigation into allegations that Mr Romiti and other top Fiat managers used an offshore slush fund to channel payments to politicians.