The former head of UK mobile operator EE will take over as CEO of Sunrise, a Swiss telco that is trying to challenge state-owned Swisscom with a full multiplay offering.
Swantee decided not to hang around at EE once its acquisition by BT was completed, apparently preferring to remain the top dog somewhere else. His experience expanding EEs offering to include broadband and TV will presumably serve him well at Sunrise, which generates 66% of its revenues from mobile but is keen to keep diversifying. Dutch-born Swantee is a Swiss citizen too, as are his family, so this seems like a perfect move for him.
He will take over from Libor Voncina, who had been CEO since 2013 and led the company through an IPO last year. “For us this is an ideal transition after the fantastic work done by Libor, who made the company fit again and floated it on the stock market,” said Sunrise Chairman Lorne Somerville. “Olaf Swantee is a successful leader who is Swiss, sensitive to the requirements and opportunities of our market and who has successfully managed telecommunications and mobile service operators in several European countries.”
“The last years have been the most intensive of my career,” said Voncina. “We have achieved so much as a team together with CVC and as a listed company. Olaf is the right leader for the next phase of the company’s development and I am excited for its prospects.”
“I’m very excited to be joining Sunrise, a company with bright and committed staff and customers who have high expectations of Sunrise’s future,” said Swantee. “The mobile network is very strong, something I am particularly passionate about. In addition, the company is already well known for its outstanding customer service.”
The move has to go through the formality of a board vote, but assuming nothing strange happens the formal hand-over will happen on May 9. According to Ovum’s WCIS Sunrise has 20% of the Swiss mobile market, but that is in slow decline as are overall revenues (according to the Sunrise slide below), so it would appear that Swantee has his work cut out.