Giuseppe Bono is leaving Italian shipyard giant Fincantieri after a 20-year reign that has seen the group become the dominant force in cruise ship construction.

The long-serving chief executive has seen his contract renewed repeatedly during the last two decades, but time has caught up with him at the age of 78.

Bono told Italian newspaper L’Espresso his mandate was not being renewed by the Italian government due to his age, adding that he “respected” the decision.

Italian state lender Cassa Depositi e Prestiti (CDP), which has 71.3%