Less than two weeks after appointing a new president, Italian state broadcaster RAI has hired Fiera di Milano chief Flavio Cattaneo as its new CEO.

Cattaneo, 39, had been president and CEO of the sprawling Fiera complex, which houses MIFED, since 2000. A trained architect, he has previously also worked in the construction industry, and is the youngest CEO ever appointed by RAI.

Cattaneo replaces Agostino Sacca', who had held the position since last year. Although he had apparently lobbied to hold onto his job, Sacca' had been held partly responsible for RAI's poor ratings performance this season and several controversial decisions, including removing from the air illustrious journalist Enzo Biagi and TV talk show host Michele Santoro. Both been critical of Berlusconi in the run-up to the 2001 national elections.

Two weeks ago, former RAI news director Lucia Annunziata was appointed as the broadcaster's new president by Senate and Parliament speakers.

Her appointment followed the sudden resignation of Paolo Mieli, who left the job after just six days, citing "political and technical difficulties" as the reason behind his departure from the politically-charged top job.