Telefónica's René Schuster appointed COO of VimpelCom

René Schuster, the man previously in charge of the plan to merge Telefónica Deutschland with E-Plus, is now joining Russian operator VimpelCom as its COO, the company has revealed.

In a statement, New York-listed VimpelCom said the former Telefónica Deutschland CEO takes up his new position with immediate effect, and will assume direct responsibility for the operational and financial performance of the Business Units, reporting to CEO Jo Lunder. Schuster succeeds Jan Edvard Thygesen, who is retiring at the conclusion of his contract in December 2014.

"Rene has an exceptional track record of achievement in telecoms and technology businesses, and we are fortunate that he will be joining us to lead our Business Units through the next phase in the development of VimpelCom," said Lunder.

Schuster originally left Telefónica Deutschland at the end of January this year, but spent some time as adviser to Eva Castillo, chair of the Telefónica Deutschland Holding board.

While he was at the German operator, as well as setting up the E-Plus deal--which gained European Commission approval on Wednesday, with conditions--Schuster was credited with establishing Telefónica Deutschland's LTE service--from winning the licence to deploying the network--and overseeing one of the largest IPOs in Europe in 2012. Schuster also handled the acquisition of HanseNet in 2010, which boosted the operator's fixed-line subscriber count.

"VimpelCom operates in many markets where there are exciting opportunities to develop the business. I am very pleased to be joining the group as we continue to develop new and innovative services for our customers and I am looking forward to working with my new colleagues," Schuster said.

For more:
- see this VimpelCom release

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