Lastminute.com has appointed Laura Amoretti, previously its
chief customer officer, as interim CEO, taking over the duties formerly handled
by CEO Fabio Cannavale and COO Andrea Bertoli who were arrested.
The arrests relate to an investigation announced last week
by authorities in Switzerland regarding COVID relief funds.
In the wake of the investigation, the board of directors of
the Amsterdam-based online travel agency has suspended Cannavale and Bertoli
for three months, but the board also says it is “resolved to launch a CEO search
for a permanent replacement.”
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The investigation into Cannavale, Bertoli and two other
executives relates to alleged misuse of COVID aid claimed by the OTA. The total
benefits received by the company between March 2020 and February 2022 was more
than 28.5 million Swiss francs ($29.5 million).
As part of the investigation, prosecutors have also blocked 7
million Swiss francs ($7.3 million) in company accounts.
The company says it is confident there has not been any
“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,” says Laurent Foata, chairman of