Swisscom finally resolved the uncertainty surrounding its leadership by appointing Urs Schaeppi as its new CEO to permanently replace Carsten Schloter, who was found dead in his apartment on July 23 in a suspected suicide.
Schaeppi has been acting as the company's CEO since Schloter's death and has been with Swisscom for 15 years. He now faces a number of tasks to adapt the company to the growing needs of business users and tackle competition from web-based applications that have already hit the company's SMS revenue.
"Urs Schaeppi has an in-depth knowledge both of the industry and of Swisscom and boasts an excellent track record," Swisscom Chairman Hansueli Loosli said in a statement. "He is results-oriented and can ensure the company's continuity. We are convinced that Urs Schaeppi will lead our company into a successful future."
Schaeppi said the operator will pursue its current strategy and sees future growth opportunities in cloud-based services as well as related markets such as home networking and eHealth.
In order to drive growth in these areas, the Swiss operator also said it plans to bundle its corporate business and IT services activities starting Jan. 1 in order to increase the effectiveness of its services for business customers and enable it to offer cloud-based solutions more quickly.
"In [the] future we will serve all corporate customers through the new Enterprise Customers division, which, with more than 4,500 employees, will become one of Switzerland's largest integrated ICT providers for corporate customers," Schaeppi said in a statement.
The new Enterprise Customers division will handle the entire sales organisation, customer service and product development for all corporate customers.
The IT, Network & Innovation division will be responsible for the operation of all IT systems and will also take over the IT platforms previously managed by Swisscom IT Services.
According to Reuters, Schaeppi also said Swisscom's Italian broadband operator Fastweb is not for sale. It has been speculated that Vodafone could buy the company as part of its strategy to buy fixed-line assets throughout Europe.
In the mobile arena, Swisscom has already taken a number of innovative approaches such as offering tariffs called "Natel infinity" that are based only on speed and not data volumes.
"Natel infinity is the most successful tariff plan ever launched in Switzerland," Swisscom spokesman Olaf Schulze told FierceWireless:Europe earlier this year. "After nearly 12 months we already have more than 1.3 million customers using infinity (one-third of all Swisscom postpaid customers)."
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