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CEO of troubled rail car company that won Honolulu bid steps down

By Gene Park

LAST UPDATED: 4:18 p.m. HST, Aug 5, 2011

The chief executive officer of the troubled Italian company selected to build Honolulu's rail cars will step down next month. 

Finmeccanica today announced the resignation of Salvatore Bianconi, CEO of AnsaldoBreda, one half of Ansaldo Honolulu, the company selected by Honolulu city officials to design, build, operate and maintain the rail cars for the planned $5.3 billion 20-mile system.

The resignation was done "in order to allow the shareholder and the board of directors to adopt any appropriate organizational measures."

Finmeccanica is a global conglomerate partially owned by the Italian government. Last week, its CEO, Giuseppe Orsi, said AnsaldoBreda is part of the organization's structural problems. He committed to shareholders that AnsaldoBreda will either be restructured or sold off. 

Orsi has said that Finmeccanica's transportation business is not one of its "strategic pillars."

Maurizio Manfellotto will succeed Bianconi. Manfellotto was previously president of standard products and platforms of Ansaldo STS, the other half of Ansaldo Honolulu which would be in charge of maintenance, signaling and automation of Honolulu's system.

"Finmeccanica thanks Mr. Bianconi for his constant and considerable effort over the years, as part of the Finmeccanica Group, and wish him all the best in his future professional career," the company said in a statement.

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