KPN appoints former Dutch finance minister as CFO

KPN appointed the former Dutch Minister of Finance, Jan Kees de Jager, as its new CFO starting Nov. 1, replacing Steven van Schilfgaarde who has been interim CFO since last September.

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Jan Kees de Jager, future CFO of KPN

De Jager will join the board of the Dutch operator from August 15, working alongside van Schilfgaarde until November. The current interim CFO took on the role following the resignation of Eric Hageman in September last year.

At the same time as revealing its new CFO, KPN also said it intends to implement a new management structure following the sale of its German unit, E-Plus, to Telefónica Deutschland. The operator said the management board would assume more direct control of operations by creating two new positions, chief commercial officer and chief operating officer, alongside the existing positions of CEO and CFO.

"The new management structure enables a functional and more direct control of KPN's operating activities, leading to an even stronger customer focus and cost control," said Eelco Blok, CEO of KPN. "As part of the Simplification program we are simplifying our operating model, also by removing a number of management layers. The appointment of Jan Kees de Jager as our new CFO will help the successful execution of our strategy in The Netherlands and Belgium, supported by a solid financial profile and strong management structure."

It has already been announced that E-Plus CEO Thorsten Dirks will step down from KPN's management board to become CEO of Telefónica Deutschland. Existing board member Joost Farwerck will assume the new role of COO at KPN. Blok intends to fulfil the role of chief commercial officer on an interim basis until a permanent appointment has been made.

The move to shake up the company's management marks a new era for the Dutch operator following the sale of its German business, which in turn will enable it to focus on its Dutch and Belgian businesses.

In the Netherlands, KPN faces strong competition from Vodafone NL and T-Mobile NL, while in Belgium its BASE unit competes against industry heavyweights such as Belgacom and Mobistar.

In April, KPN said it remained confident its financial performance will stabilise toward the end of 2014, despite a near 100 per cent drop in net profit in the first quarter of the year.

The company blamed fierce competition in its mobile markets, and a decline in its business market for the drop in revenues and EBITDA. Other factors cited include the phasing out of a handset-leasing scheme on the company's KPN and Hi brands.

KPN last year fended off a take-over bid from minority shareholder América Móvil, which has now turned its attention to the Austrian and Central and Eastern European (CEE) markets by gaining majority control over Telekom Austria.

For more:
- see this KPN release

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