Skip to main content

File photo of the sign of Deutsche Telekom AG is pictured at its stand for the upcoming CeBIT fair inside a hall in Hanover March 1, 2009.


Deutsche Telekom Chief Executive Rene Obermann is stepping down at the end of next year and will be replaced by his finance chief Timotheus Hoettges.

"This is the right time to prepare to pass the baton and ensure a smooth transition,"Mr. Obermann said in a statement on Thursday.

Mr. Obermann, 49, has been with Deutsche Telekom for 16 years. By late 2006, he had risen to become the youngest ever CEO of a German blue-chip, at just 43.

Story continues below advertisement

When he took over, Deutsche Telekom was a lumbering giant with customers leaving in droves and investors wary of its ability to deliver.

As chief executive his image has been of a low-key and somewhat uninspiring leader, eager to keep unions and politicians happy and wary of taking big strategic decisions.

He suffered a blow last year when a deal to sell Deutsche Telekom's troubled T-Mobile USA business, which has been losing market share, to AT&T collapsed.

This month, Deutsche Telekom cut dividends for the next two years by almost a third investments at home and in the United States eat away cash.

"We will invest heavily primarily in our networks in Germany, but also in those in the USA, to secure the future of our company," Mr. Hoettges said on Thursday, affirming Deutsche Telekom aims to return to revenue growth in 2014.

Report an error

The Globe invites you to share your views. Please stay on topic and be respectful to everyone. For more information on our commenting policies and how our community-based moderation works, please read our Community Guidelines and our Terms and Conditions.

We’ve made some technical updates to our commenting software. If you are experiencing any issues posting comments, simply log out and log back in.

Discussion loading… ✨

Combined Shape Created with Sketch.

Combined Shape Created with Sketch.

Thank you!

You are now subscribed to the newsletter at

You can unsubscribe from this newsletter or Globe promotions at any time by clicking the link at the bottom of the newsletter, or by emailing us at