From June 30th Microsoft’s Philippe Rogge will be new chief
Vodafone Germany has announced that CEO Hannes Ametsreiter will step down on 30 June to be replaced by Microsoft executive Philippe Rogge. The announcement is a U-Turn on April’s announcement from the telco’s supervisory board, which confirmed Ametsreiter would continue as CEO for another three years, even though his current term had yet to end.
The official line is that Ametsreiter is leaving to ‘pursue new career opportunities’ after nearly completing seven years with the company. In that time Vodafone Germany, under Ametsreiter’s stewardship, claimed to have launched Germany’s first commercial 5G network even beating Deutsche Telekom to market.
In November 2021, Vodafone announced ambitious plans to expand its 5G footprint to 60 million people, while cutting its power consumption and boosting speeds and coverage with 5G Standalone techniques. Under Ametsreiter it planned to convert all of its 10,000 of 5G antenna to 5G Standalone antennae. It also planned a major power-saving green initiative, using Ericsson’s energy-efficient model of antenna which use 40 per cent less electricity than previous models when transmitting data. The first 900 of these antennas started working in March 2022.
The mobile operator now has a 5G network reaching 35 million people from 15,000 cellular antennas in 5,000 locations. Ametsreiter set the ambitious target to reach 30 million potential 5G customers by the end of the year, having erected 10,000 antennas in 3,000 locations. Vodafone Germany has boosted its 5G Standalone (SA) network coverage to ten million people, it says, and divulged plans to activate more 5G SA antennas.
Ametsreitter can also take credit for integrating Unitymedia into the company.
Rogge will step into Ametsreiter’s shoes as a member of Vodafone Germany’s group executive committee. The incoming CEO has spent more than a decade with Microsoft, most recently as president of Central and Eastern Europe. Rogge had a proven track record of commercial, operational and financial success at Microsoft, according to Vodafone Group CEO Nick Read.