DT directors sizing up potential new chief

19 Oct 2006

Directors at German incumbent Deutsche Telekom (DT) are mulling the future of their boss Kai-Uwe Ricke, whose current contract expires in 2007. The decision to replace Mr Ricke, or renew his contract, will be made in December. Mr Ricke has been under pressure since a profits warning was issued in August this year amid falling fixed line subscriptions and slow growth of wireless business. Large German companies typically start to consider executives’ contracts a year before they are due to end. One name being banded around is Ben Verwaayen, currently chief executive of British Telecom, although the German government, which holds a 31.2% stake in DT, is said to favour an internal candidate for political reasons, possibly finance officer Karl Gerhard Eick, or head of T-Mobile Rene Obermann. Some insiders believe that Mr Ricke may benefit from any boardroom wrangling over whether to appoint a German or a foreigner, as the quandary could lead to his contract being renewed.

Germany, Deutsche Telekom (DT)