Telekom Austria CFO quits as Slim control bid looms

Reuters News
Posted: Apr 08, 2014 10:41 AM

VIENNA (Reuters) - Telekom Austria Chief Financial Officer Hans Tschuden will leave the company at the end of May, paving the way for major investor Carlos Slim to help choose a successor.

The company gave no reason for the move and did not name a replacement in a statement on Tuesday, saying that the supervisory board would communicate its decision in a timely fashion.

The outspoken Tschuden had a contract until the end of March 2017 with an option to terminate it two years early.

He has been CFO since 2007, during which time the company expanded in the former Yugoslavia and Belarus and slashed its dividend in response to regulatory fee cuts and intense competition in its home market.

"I thank Hans Tschuden for his years-long contribution as finance chief of the Telekom Austria group and especially for his excellent chaperoning of the company's growth phase," Chairman Rudolf Kemler said in the statement.

"I wish him all the very best for his future activities," added Kemler, who is also head of the Austrian government's holding company, the OIAG.

Carlos Slim's America Movil, the second-biggest shareholder in Telekom Austria after the Austrian government, is expected to make a bid for control of the company soon, through a pact with the OIAG. [ID:nL5N0MP46M]

"They probably wanted their own man or own woman," said a company insider who asked not to be named. "Tschuden does not allow himself to be dictated to by others - he's no puppet."

A Telekom Austria spokesman declined to comment on the reason for Tschuden's departure.

Telekom Austria shares were down 0.4 percent to 6.96 euros by 1427 GMT, outperforming a 1.3 percent-lower European telecoms index.

(Reporting by Georgina Prodhan; Editing by Michael Shields)