UPDATE 2-Independents dominate in Telecom Italia board shake-up
* Telco candidate Recchi gets chairman job with 97 pct of votes
* Controversial rules give Telco 10 out of 13 board seats
* Dissident investor supports board but remains vigilant
* CEO can focus on business, may face hard choices in Brazil (Adds outcome of vote for chairman and directors, quote from investor Lombardi)
By Danilo Masoni and Stefano Rebaudo
ROZZANO, Italy April 16 (Reuters) - Telecom Italia investors on Wednesday elected Giuseppe Recchi as chairman in a board renewal that for the first time puts independent directors in charge of overseeing Italy's largest phone group.
The reshuffle, which ensured there are no executives from top shareholder Telefonica on the board, was welcomed by minority investors concerned about a possible conflict of interest because the Spanish and Italian companies operate as competitors in Brazil.
The move is also designed to help CEO Marco Patuano focus on turning around the Italian group, whose net debt of almost 27 billion euros ($37 billion) is three times core earnings.
Recchi, an ex-General Electric executive and outgoing chairman of oil group Eni, drew around 97 percent of the votes, beating out Vito Gamberale, a veteran executive proposed by dissident investor Marco Fossati because of his extensive experience in the telecoms industry. Continuación...