René Obermann to leave DT for Ziggo in new year


CEO of Deutsche Telekom, René Obermann has announced he will join Dutch cable operator Ziggo as CEO on January 1 2014

The CEO of Deutsche Telekom, René Obermann, has left the company to join Dutch cable operator Ziggo.

In December Obermann announced he would be leaving Deutsche Telekom, which operates under brand-name T-Mobile in the UK, on the expiry of his contract at the end of 2013. The operator’s chief financial officer Tim Höttges will take his place.

Oberman, who spent 11 years as a member of the management board at Deutsche Telekom, will be appointed as CEO of Ziggo on January 1 2014. He will succeed Bernard Dijkhuizen, who will retire.

Ovum telecoms strategy analyst Steven Hartley said Oberman’s decision to join Ziggo has “raised a few eyebrows.”

However Hartley said: “Moving from a telco to a cable company is hardly a quantum leap nowadays as each competes in the same space, albeit coming from historically different perspectives.

“Ziggo has not had everything its own way though. In its latest results it lost 27000 Digital TV subscribers, despite increasing bundle customers and overall revenues. Yet Herr Obermann’s steering of Deutsche Telekom has the seen the company take a refreshingly pragmatic outlook to its role in the telecoms ecosystem and applying that to the fast-moving Dutch market could see Ziggo on a steady path for the future.”

René Obermann said: “After 15 happy years at Deutsche Telekom, I am very pleased to join Ziggo. This opportunity fulfills my strong wish as an entrepreneur to move closer to operational activities and to be involved in a fast changing world of offering products and services in media and entertainment.”

Ziggo’s chairman of the supervisory board Andy Sukawaty said: “We are very excited to have Rene Obermann join Ziggo. His leadership skills and broad global experience in fixed and mobile telecoms will help to drive continued long term growth and service innovation at Ziggo.”