The Austrian has been the head of Vodafone Germany since October 2015.
Philippe Rogge, who currently heads Microsoft’s Eastern Europe business, will become the new head of Vodafone Germany. The company announced this on Tuesday afternoon. As of July 1, Rogge will replace the current CEO Hannes Ametsreiter, who has led the British telecommunications group’s highest-revenue subsidiary since October 2015.
Little is still known about his successor at the Düsseldorf headquarters. Even some high-profile people only found out about the change in the middle of last week. The Belgian Rogge is considered internationally experienced, worked for Microsoft in Beijing and Lisbon. He gained industry experience at the Belgian telecom provider Proximus. Vodafone colleagues who have already been able to meet him describe him as easy-going and down-to-earth. His contract initially runs for three years.
For most employees, the report initially caused uncertainty and sadness. Predecessor Ametsreiter was a popular boss internally, who repeatedly aggressively sought the public. He gave Vodafone a face there. Under him, the Germany subsidiary became a full-fledged telecommunications provider with the acquisition of Unitymedia’s television cable networks in 2019.
The British now had their own landline network almost throughout Germany. In this way, they succeeded in repeatedly putting the industry leader Deutsche Telekom under pressure in his home country. “Hannes has turned Vodafone back into growth,” Frank Roevekamp, Chairman of the Supervisory Board of Vodafone Germany, praised on Tuesday.
Recently, however, the British weakened and fell back to third place behind Telefónica Deutschland (O2) in terms of important service revenues in mobile communications. Fixed-line customers in particular complain about frequent disruptions and performance problems.
Internally, there is said to have been displeasure about the centralization rage of the British mother, who above all wants to save money with this verticalization strategy. However, she was hesitant about investments. Ametsreiter is also said to have criticized this course internally several times, as the Handelsblatt recently reported. His career at Vodafone was considered exhausted, his influence waned.
In an emotional post to the social network LinkedIn, Ametsreiter thanked his team on Tuesday. He wanted to switch to the “private equity and investor side,” he wrote. “There I want to get involved in growth areas in the telco and tech sector, to be active as an investor and shareholder.” At 55, according to Ametsreiter, he is still full of energy.