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Europe

DT Snaps Up Former AlcaLu Man

9:40 AM -- I received an interesting email from Deutsche Telekom AG (NYSE: DT) today, and not just because it began "Dear Mrs. Le Maistre." (Did my photo throw them off?)

The electronic missive informed me of a very senior appointment at the German giant -- a new Chief Technology Officer. His name is Olivier Baujard (so he's not German...), and from November 16 he'll be responsible for Technology across the whole Deutsche Telekom group, which is massive, encompassing not only Germany but a large part of Central and Eastern Europe, a good chunk of Western Europe, and, of course, T-Mobile US Inc. .

A lot of people in the European telecom industry already know Baujard: His previous job was as head of technology (effectively the CTO), as well as being head of the domestic French business, at Alcatel-Lucent (NYSE: ALU). He was one of a number of executives who didn't survive the arrival of Ben Verwaayen as AlcaLu's CEO last year. (See AlcaLu Unveils New Leadership Team and a video interview, Olivier Baujard, CTO, Alcatel-Lucent.)

And here's another thing that caught my eye about this announcement: Baujard may be the CTO of one of the world's biggest telecom operators, but he won't be reporting to the CEO. Instead, he will report to the COO, Hamid Akhavan. (Wasn't he in one of the Harry Potter movies?)

That's because until Baujard takes up his new role, Akhavan is holding down the CTO role as well as having "group-wide responsibilities" for "Products & Innovation... IT, Procurement, International Sales and International Marketing." Akhavan took on that expansive role back in March as part of DT's management revamp, but he clearly needs to offload some of that responsibility. (See DT Revamps.)

So let's wish Baujard Bon Chance --- or should that be Viel Glück -- in his new role, and hope that, from November 16, Akhavan might find a few hours during his weekend when he won't need to be COO of Deutsche Telekom.

— Mrs. Ray Le Maistre, International News Editor, Light Reading

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