The tasks of the Russian employees are now to be carried out from other locations.
Hamburg Deutsche Telekom has closed its software development sites in Saint Petersburg, Moscow and Voronezh due to the war in Ukraine. The activities in Russia have been discontinued, the Bonn-based Dax Group announced on its website on Thursday evening. The website of the Russian subsidiary was also apparently shut down.
To date, around 2,000 people – mainly IT specialists – have worked in Russia for Deutsche Telekom’s IT and Global Business Solutions subsidiaries. “In recent weeks, we have offered these employees to work outside of Russia,” it said. Many would have taken advantage of this opportunity and left the country.
The group did not provide more detailed information on this. At the latest annual press conference, Deutsche Telekom CFO Christian Illek had already announced that he would offer some employees visas so that they can continue working for Deutsche Telekom from another country. Also in order to protect employees from possible influence, their access to internal IT systems of Deutsche Telekom was blocked at the beginning of March, as the Handelsblatt reported. In addition, the code they developed was apparently partially checked in advance by security experts at Deutsche Telekom in order to exclude malware, the group said.
The pressure on the Deutsche Telekom leadership to act on the Russia issue had increased in recent weeks. Just yesterday, the group was added to the “shame List” of the influential economist Jeffrey Sonnenfeld.
The prominent professor of the elite Yale University collects companies on the website of his institute that continue to hold on to business or sites in Russia. As a result, the Anonymous hacker network had threatened Deutsche Telekom and other companies exposed there with attacks. Earlier, the Deutsche Telekom works Council had also called for the withdrawal from Russia to be initiated.
The Russian specialists worked on central projects of the Group such as the uniform customer app or software for the orchestration of the fiber optic expansion in Germany. It remained unclear how this would continue. Some employees in St. Petersburg had done services for “our international customers,” according to the Telekom website. It was ensured that these would be “maintained in the best possible way without the location of Russia”.
According to Handelsblatt information, Russian employees worked on projects for Mercedes-Benz, Volkswagen or the Federal Ministry of Transport, for example.