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Telekom Austria CEO Nemsic leaves to head VimpelCom

03 марта 2009

Austrian telecommunications provider Telekom Austria AG said Chief Executive Boris Nemsic had resigned to become the head of Russian peer VimpelCom. He will be the first foreigner to head a major Russian telecommunications company.

Nemsic led Telekom Austria's recent expansion and his departure sent Telekom Austria's stock price down in early trading Monday. At 1606 GMT, the shares traded down EUR0.11, or 1.1%, at EUR10.24. VimpelCom's core shareholders welcomed the appointment.

"We have accepted the resignation of Boris Nemsic with regret," supervisory board Chairman Peter Michaelis said in a statement."Under his leadership Telekom Austria has become a major player both in Austria and abroad."

A successor will be appointed at a supervisory board meeting "in due course," Michaelis said.

Nemsic, 51 years old, has been CEO of Telekom Austria since 2006, when he advanced from head of the company's wireless division to replace Heinz Sundt.

VimpelCom, with more than 60 million customers, is
Russia's second-largest telecommunications provider after OAO Mobile TeleSystems. During Alexander Izosimov's five years as CEO, the company rebranded and extended its network across the country.

The company also paid $4.3 billion for fixed-line operator Golden Telecom. Izosimov told reporters that this merger still hasn't been "fully completed" and said that one of the biggest challenges for his successor will be "understanding and working out a structure."

Nemsic will split the duties that Izosimov held at VimpelCom with Alexander Torbakhov, who is currently director of Life Insurance Co. Rosgosstrakh. Both will start work in April and have signed three-year contracts.

VimpelCom's shareholders, Telenor and Alfa Group's Altimo, had been looking for a Russian manager with experience working in the consumer sector.

Nemsic, a Bosnian Croat, will oversee VimpelCom's internal operations, while Torbakhov will be responsible for the company's relations with banks and the Russian government.

Izosimov for several months has been saying that he wanted to leave the company in order to spend more time with his family in

VimpelCom's debt burden stands at around $9.5 billion - twice that of its less acquisitive rival MTS, and Izosimov said that VimpelCom needs to show the market that it can meet these obligations, adding that relations with Russian banks "will be key (for the company) at the present time."

VimpelCom in 2007 lost a bid for the second-largest mobile telephony operator in
Belarus, MDC, to Telekom Austria. Telekom Austria acquired a 70% stake in MDC for EUR730 million in the single-largest deal Nemsic closed in less than three years as Telekom Austria CEO.

While Austrian media speculated Monday that the newly appointed CEO of Telekom Austria's fixed-line division, Hannes Ametsreiter, is the most likely successor to Nemsic, a Telekom Austria spokeswoman told Dow Jones Newswires the succession is still an open question.


Источник: Total Telecom

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