Deutsche Telekom sheds CEO

The analysts have come out in force to mourn (sort of) the passing of DT head honcho Kai Uwe-Ricke, who got the boot yesterday. He'll probably be replaced by Rene Obermann, CEO of T-Mobile.

The analysts have come out in force to mourn (sort of) the passing of DT head honcho Kai Uwe-Ricke, who got the boot yesterday. He'll probably be replaced by Rene Obermann, CEO of T-Mobile.

Ovum's Dan Bieler put it down to DT losing ground in its home market and "irritating" staff and unions by lining up tens of thousands of staff members for the chop (I can see how that might be irritating). Reacting to DT's reasoning that choosing Obermann will ensure continuity, Bieler said he found this argument "odd" and quite reasonably asked how you ensure continuity by sacking the CEO.

Over to Forrester's amiable Lars Godell: "The departure... doesn't solve any of DT’s structural, long-term problems so people need to be realistic when assessing the potential for quick change at the company... DT has been much slower than its peers BT and France Telecom (FT) to embrace change, competition, and the need to restructure its operations as a fully integrated telco". Hooray for BT.

But Godell does have a warning: "Obermann has been co-responsible for the management mistakes over the last three to six years, including the overspend on 3G networks and licenses, and the lack of internal coordination, so he needs to acknowledge those mistakes and what has been learnt from them in order to be fully effective as the new CEO". But is getting promoted the right time to say you're sorry?

The always-informed James Enck of Daiwa Securities says there were some "pretty nasty behind-the-scenes spats and subterfuge" behind the move, though he points to this page to prove it. And my German sucks, so that's me out of the loop.

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