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Deutsche Telekom CTO Quits

Michelle Donegan
News Analysis
Michelle Donegan

Deutsche Telekom AG (NYSE: DT) Group CTO Oliver Baujard resigned earlier this month. His departure is the latest in a series of senior management changes at the German operator, which is undergoing a major technology review.

For now, Baujard's group CTO job will be handled by Dr. Bruno Jacobfeuerborn, director of technology at domestic operation Telekom Deutschland GmbH , until a permanent replacement is found.

A Deutsche Telekom spokesman confirmed Baujard's resignation to Light Reading Mobile in an emailed response to questions.

"A few weeks ago a formal review process regarding technology was initiated within the Group. And this process is ongoing. We are currently not in a position to comment regarding [Olivier Baujard's] succession and structure. It is our aim to communicate only after the conclusion of the review," stated the spokesman.

The details of the technology review are not known, but it is thought to involve looking at the group CTO function within Deutsche Telekom and evaluating whether more responsibility should be given to individual country CTOs to achieve better technology alignment across the group.

There have been quite a few changes to DT's top team lately. Baujard's departure follows the resignation of his former boss, Deutsche Telekom's Chief Technology and Innovation Officer Edward Kozel, at the end of 2011. Both Baujard and Kozel were named as key carrier movers and shakers in Light Reading's Top 20 Bridge Builders. (See Mgmt World: DT Bridges the Chasm, DT Execs Offer Original Duet and Euronews: Shareholders Turn On AlcaLu CEO.)

Kozel's group responsibilities for technology, innovation and procurement have been dispersed to different board members. CEO Rene Obermann has taken over responsibility for innovation at Deutsche Telekom; procurement oversight has been split in two and is handled by CFO Timotheus Höttges for Germany and by Claudia Nemat, the new board member for Europe. Nemat also got responsibility for technology.

After Kozel left, Baujard then reported to 44-year-old Nemat, who joined DT's board in October 2011 and previously spent 17 years at management consultancy McKinsey & Co. She is in charge of the current technology review.

In September last year, Baujard made comments in an interview with Reuters about T-Mobile US Inc. and AT&T Inc. (NYSE: T)'s merger as well as DT's network investment plans, which the company was forced to refute a day later.

Baujard joined Deutsche Telekom in November 2009 after a career at Alcatel-Lucent (NYSE: ALU). (See DT Snaps Up Former AlcaLu Man .)

Why this matters
In the context of the failed AT&T/T-Mobile merger, these executive changes suggest DT is attempting to put its technology house in order across its international footprint by looking for more efficient ways to deploy technology in all the different countries in which it operates.

The review is also likely to cause some uncertainty for Deutsche Telekom's network equipment suppliers until the outcome is known.

The move also means there's an experienced executive with insight into the technology decision-making processes at an international Tier 1 operator available for hire.

For more
Light Reading readers will know DT's Baujard from several lively interviews we had with him over the last couple of years.

— Michelle Donegan, European Editor, Light Reading Mobile

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