KPN announces new CEO

News

Joost Farwerck will be the new CEO and Chairman of the Board of Management at KPN, not Dominique Leroy as previously planned.

Former Proximus boss, Leroy, was due to take over as CEO of KPN from December 1 but the offer was rescinded following reports of the launch of a police investigation into Leroy’s sales of shares at her old company a few weeks before she left.

Leroy previously made a statement about the timing of her share sales, saying she sold them before she had decided to leave Proximus and discussions with KPN were ongoing.

Leroy wrote: “I understand that with hindsight the timing can create the perception that I did this exactly prior and because of my departure....This is surely not the reason for my sale of shares.”

However, KPN said, “The duration of the procedures which concern Mrs Leroy by the authorities in Belgium is unclear and unpredictable. The Supervisory Board of KPN considers these uncertainties around timing not in the interest of KPN and its stakeholders.”

Strategy

Farwerck has been a member of the Board of Management since 2013 and is currently Chief Operating Officer (COO), a role he has been in since 2014.

Farwerck will assume the CEO role immediately and KPN’s Supervisory Board intends to appoint him for a new four-year term as of December 1.

Duco Sickinghe, Chairman of the Supervisory Board, said, “With Joost assuming the role of CEO, the Supervisory Board is pleased to appoint an experienced telecommunications professional.

“Joost knows the company inside out and the environment the company is operating in. With Joost as CEO, the Supervisory Board is convinced that we will make good progress on the further development and execution of KPN’s strategy.”

Farwerck said, “It is with pleasure that I assume the role of CEO of this great company which focuses on offering high-speed connections to consumers, businesses and Dutch society. KPN is a company with a realistic strategy in place to perform in the competitive Dutch market. My primary focus will be to deliver on that strategy and explore how we can accelerate the execution even more to deliver organic sustainable growth. We have a great team and a lot of dedicated people in the company. I am eager to work with all of them to execute on that strategy.”

On the move

KPN also announced that Chris Figee will be appointed as Chief Financial Officer (CFO) as of February1, 2020. Figee is currently CFO at ASR Netherlands and will take over from Jan Kees de Jager who, after more than five years as CFO of KPN, plans to continue his entrepreneurial career.

Further, KPN is expanding its board of management to include Jean-Pascal Van Overbeke, Chief Consumer Market; Marieke Snoep, Chief Business Market; Babak Fouladi, Chief Technology and Digital Officer; and Hilde Garssen, Chief People Officer.

Sickinghe said, “As Supervisory Board we recently had to deal with a number of unexpected challenges in terms of CEO succession. In recognition, the Supervisory Board is pleased that with the changes announced today, KPN is ready to move forward with a focused leadership team that is fully committed to becoming the undisputed quality leader of the Netherlands.”