Obermann departure not unexpected

Deutsche Telekom chief René Obermann’s decision to join Dutch cableco Ziggo will stand the latter in good stead for the future, Ovum telecoms strategy analyst Steven Hartley predicts.
Ziggo revealed on Wednesday that Obermann will take the helm in January 2014 when its current chief executive, Bernard Dijkhuizen, retires. Chairman Andy Sukawaty says the appointment will help to drive Ziggo’s long term growth and service innovation following a successful tenure by Dijkhuizen.
“Ziggo has realized great success in delivering world leading services to consumers in the Netherlands. René Obermann is a perfect successor to lead the company through a new phase of growth, innovation and market leadership.”
Hartley agrees Obermann is a good choice for the Dutch company, given his stewardship of Deutsche Telekom “has seen the company take a refreshingly pragmatic outlook to its role in the telecoms ecosystem.”
While the Ovum analyst notes Obermann’s decision “has raised a few eyebrows,” he points out the move from incumbent telco to cableco “is hardly a quantum leap.”
The timing of Obermann’s departure from Deutsche Telekom is still unclear, though, with Ziggo’s Sukawaty stating there will be a period of handover between the outgoing and incoming chiefs.