Ing C Olivetti & Co SpA has replaced Vittorio Cassoni as head of Olivetti Systems & Networks on grounds of ill health, and has given his responsibilities over to Elserino Piol, the company’s long-time number two man and strategic director. Close friends of Cassoni, who reportedly underwent a six-hour operation last month for removal of part of his pancreas, say that his doctors are cautious about whether he will be able to return to work full-time. Cassoni, whom Olivetti loaned to AT&T to run its computer operations when the two companies were still boon companions and who was in power there when the Unix industry ruptured into two camps with the formation of the Open Software Foundation, continues to serve as managing director of the Olivetti parent company. Since stepping into the breach last month, Piol is reported to have restructured Systems & Networks back to its pre-Cassoni form and brought in his old cronies to staff it. Since falling out with AT&T, the once high-flying Italian firm has gone into a decline, hit by severely falling profits that are necessitating job cutbacks. Cassoni is in his late 40s.