By Giulia Segreti
ROME (Reuters) -Shareholders in Italy's Leonardo on Tuesday rejected a proposal by activist investor Bluebell Partners to start a liability action against the defence group's chief executive Alessandro Profumo.
"The shareholders meeting rejected the proposal ... with the opposing vote of 88.727% of the share capital represented at the meeting on the related proposal," the group said in a statement.
CEO Profumo was sentenced by a first instance court in 2020 to six years imprisonment for false accounting in his previous role as chairman of Banca Monte dei Paschi di Siena.
Leonardo had backed Profumo, saying "conditions did not exist" for him to resign as the initial verdict could be overturned by second or third instance courts.
Italy's Ministry of Economy and Finance holds just over 30% of Leonardo's shares.
Bluebell Partners, which owns 25 shares in the company, proposed the liability action in April, asking for compensation for reputational damage stemming from the conviction.
Proxy advisers had split over the issue, with ISS recommending to vote against the request, as there was not sufficient grounds to remove Profumo, but Glass Lewis to vote in favour, as the conviction had a negative reputational impact.
(Reporting by Giulia Segreti; writing by Giulia Segreti and Francesca Landini; Editing by Keith Weir)