Fiat today (Thursday) said reports in some Italian newspapers that group chairman Paolo Fresco would resign soon were false, according to Reuters .

“Press rumours about the supposed imminent resignation of Fiat Chairman Paolo Fresco are absolutely false,” a Fiat statement said, Reuters reported.

According to Reuters, Fiat said the rumours were part of a campaign to denigrate and destabilise the company, and to prevent it from executing a recovery plan.

Earlier today, Reuters reported that Fiat had declined to comment on Italian newspaper stories that Fresco could resign soon from the crisis-hit industrial group.

Italian newspapers today said that Fresco – brought into Fiat in the hope his US-style professionalism would turn around the loss-making company – might resign before the end of the year, the earlier Reuters report said.

“Conjecture about Fresco’s resignation,” read a headline in daily La Repubblica. “Fresco in the balance,” a headline in leading business paper Il Sole 24 Ore said, according to the Reuters report.

If Fresco left, it would be the third top management change in under six months as the company that was once Europe’s biggest carmaker struggles against slumping sales and deep losses, Reuters said.