VIENNA Dec 6 Telekom Austria wants to
add a new executive in charge of technology to its top
management, the company said on Thursday.
The board decided on Monday to appoint a third executive to
work alongside Chief Executive Hannes Ametsreiter and Chief
Financial Officer Hans Tchuden, a spokesman for supervisory
board chief Rudolf Kemler said.
He added that negotiations had also begun to extend
Ametsreiter's contract, which is due to end in December 2013.
The new technology executive will also take a leading role
in Telekom Austria's operations in eastern Europe, where its
growth markets are, and finding synergies between its businesses
in those countries, according to a source familiar with the
Telekom Austria referred questions on the new role and on
Ametsreiter's contract to Kemler.
Both matters are expected to be settled in the first half of
Telekom Austria has warned on profits and slashed its
dividend since Mexican telecoms tycoon Carlos Slim agreed to
take a major stake in June. Its shares are down about 40 percent
since then as it battles fierce domestic competition.
Slim also bought a large stake in Dutch telecoms operator
KPN this year, and Telekom Austria has said the two
have begun to explore possible synergies.
Kemler was elected to Telekom Austria's supervisory board in
October, along with Oscar van Hauske Solis, an executive in
Slim's America Movil Latin American telecoms group.
Kemler represents Austrian state holding company OIAG, which
is Telekom Austria's biggest shareholder with a 28 percent
stake. America Movil holds 23 percent directly and indirectly.
A takeover by Hutchison Whampoa's 3G of France
Telecom's Orange Austria is expected to take the
pressure off Austian market prices, cutting the number of rival
network operators to three, but the deal has been on hold for
almost a year while the European Union decides whether to
approve it. A decision is expected later this month.