Bezeq Israel Telecom CEO Gabbay to step down in six months

TEL AVIV Sun Jan 20, 2013 3:18am EST

TEL AVIV Jan 20 (Reuters) - Bezeq Israel Telecom, Israel's largest telecoms group, said Chief Executive Avi Gabbay would step down in six months, during which time a replacement would be found.

"After 14 years with the Bezeq Group and nearly six years as CEO, I felt it was time for me to make a change," Gabbay said in a statement on Sunday.

His resignation follows that of former chief financial officer Alan Gelman, who left the company at the end of 2012 for the Better Place electric car venture.

Shares in Bezeq were down 1.4 percent to 4.3 shekels in morning trade in Tel Aviv.

Bezeq has undergone deep changes in the past few years as Israel's telecom industry has faced increased competition.

Its net profit fell 38 percent in the third quarter as its mobile phone unit suffered intense competition from the entry of six new operators, which sparked a price war.

Bezeq also faces increased competition in the landline phone market, in which it was once a monopoly.

($1 = 3.72 shekels) (Reporting by Tova Cohen)

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