After a particularly rough quarter, Deutsche Telekom's CEO Kae-Uwe Ricke resigned in a move to resuscitate falling revenue and ease shareholder discontent. T-Mobile CEO Rene Obermann will succeed Ricke as CEO of the entire company effective today, November 13th. Ricke took the wheel in November 2002, but this past August his leadership was questioned when the company issued a profit warning. DT said Ricke is stepping down in "the interests of the company" and not for the typical "spend more time with the family" excuse.
Ovum chalked the resignation up to three main factors:
- First, Deutsche Telekom lost significant ground to competition in its domestic market, both fixed and mobile.
- Second, Ricke caused irritation amongst staff and the unions over his headcount reduction program.
- Third, the share price remains below the issue price of its 1996 IPO. Divisional infighting further undermined the course.
The analyst firm also snarkily points out that if DT was looking for "continuity" by promoting Obermann, why force Ricke out at all?
For more on DT's new CEO:
- see this article from The Wall Street Journal