Swisscom said it plans to appoint a new CEO by the end of this year as the Swiss incumbent continues its search for a successor to Carsten Schloter, who was found dead in his apartment on July 23 in a suspected suicide.
Urs Schaeppi has been acting as the company's CEO since Schloter's death, and steps are now being taken to find a permanent successor. "We have set up a nomination committee with the goal of appointing a definitive successor by the end of the year," Chairman Hansueli Loosli said in a statement accompanying the operator's first half and second quarter results for 2013.
Mario Rossi will chair the Fastweb board of directors for the time being, while Ueli Dietiker will take over as acting chairman of the Swisscom IT Services board of directors.
Meanwhile, Swisscom reported a drop in its second-quarter and first-half net profits, hit by price pressures and lower revenue from roaming fees, although Bloomberg reported that second-quarter profits and revenue were both above analyst estimates.
Second-quarter net income excluding minority stakes fell by 6.8 per cent to €347 million ($463 million). Profits exceeded the €331 million average estimate by analysts, according to Bloomberg. Sales increased by 1.5 per cent to €2.32 billion, which was also above analyst estimates. Total net income in the first six months of the year fell by 9.7 per cent to €666.4 million.
Swisscom found bright spot and reported a 30 per cent increase in its IPTV customer base to 902,000 subscribers, while the operator said the number of customers using one of its bundled offerings increased by 27.2 per cent to 889,000 by the end of June, driven by mobile services and IPTV.
"Despite continuing competition and price pressure we are confident about the second half of the year," said Schaeppi in a statement. "We are investing a great deal in our network and for our customers, and are convinced that this will pay off in the long term. We gained many new customers in the second quarter, primarily for our television service (+42,000), in mobile communications (+37,000) and at [Italian broadband provider] Fastweb (+26,000)."
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