- Deutsche Telekom intends to adopt more of a regional focus with greater emphasis on integration
Deutsche Telekom intends to adopt more of a regional focus in future with greater emphasis on integration. "The Supervisory Board and the Board of Management have today taken a significant step towards a new Deutsche Telekom. The concept presented by René Obermann fully prepares the Group for the opportunities of the future," said Chairman of the Supervisory Board Ulrich Lehner on Thursday. "The distinction between our fixed-line and mobile operations will be abolished. We intend to bundle product development, IT and technology across Europe in future," stressed CEO René Obermann. "We have already proved with integrated mobile and fixed-network sales in Germany that we are capable of increasing our market share by working more closely together." At the same time, René Obermann made clear that this was not a staff reduction program. Agreement had been reached with the employee representatives on the key points for implementation on a cooperative basis. A project manager is responsible for preparing an overall concept for the measures. Thomas Dannenfeldt, Member of the T-Home Board of Management responsible for Market and Quality Management, was appointed as special representative of the Board of Management for this project. Building on the results of this project, the sales, marketing and customer service functions for German mobile and fixed-network business will be consolidated in one Board of Management department in future. Products and innovation, IT and technology will be managed at a pan-European level, procurement globally. This function is to be bundled in the new Board of Management department for Operations (COO). As one of the first measures, a Board department was created on Thursday for South Eastern Europe. Guido Kerkhoff (41), previously Head of Group Accounting and Controlling, will immediately start setting up this new Board department as a member of the Board of Management. He will manage the subsidiaries in this region starting July 1. The Supervisory Board also approved on Thursday another executive appointment proposed by Mr. Obermann, and appointed Timotheus Höttges (46) as the new CFO with effect from March 1. In his two years as member of the Board of Management responsible for T-Home, Sales & Service, Mr. Höttges made Deutsche Telekom’s broadband business a success and introduced Entertain (IPTV) on the mass market. Prior to this, he was responsible for Sales and Service in Europe at T-Mobile International. At the same time, he will be succeeded at T-Home by Niek Jan van Damme (47), who has been Managing Director of T-Mobile Netherlands since 2004. Mr. van Damme will take on responsibility for the sales, marketing and service activities of the fixed-network and mobile operations in Germany from mid-2009. As of the same date, Hamid Akhavan will take on his additional role of COO. He will maintain his position as the Board member responsible for mobile communications in the United Kingdom, the Netherlands, Austria, Poland and the Czech Republic. "We have found strong candidates to head the Board departments," underlined Chairman of the Supervisory Board Ulrich Lehner. "In the past two years, Tim Höttges not only turned broadband business in Germany around, but also improved customer service. Niek Jan van Damme and Guido Kerkhoff also bring a high level of expertise with them from their previous roles. The expansion of Hamid Akhavan's cross-divisional tasks will enable the Group to further boost its competitiveness." The management structure new approved is a continuation of our strategy that has proven successful to date. Deutsche Telekom has already had success with integrated mobile and fixed-network sales in Germany and Hungary. The coordination of product development, networks and IT systems has also been successfully implemented at T-Mobile International. In the future, other functions will also be managed on an integrated basis – such as marketing, human resources and finance. "These measures will enable us to implement our strategy even better to become a global leader for products in the field of connected life and work,” said Mr. Obermann. “We will carefully work out the next steps under the project management of Thomas Dannenfeldt and with the involvement of our executive bodies. We will also keep our employees informed." Mr. Obermann continued.