September 5, 2019 / 5:09 PM / 5 months ago

UPDATE 1-Dutch telco KPN poaches new CEO from Belgian rival

(Updates with details)

AMSTERDAM, Sept 5 (Reuters) - KPN NV, the biggest Dutch telecommunications company, said on Thursday it had poached Dominique Leroy from Belgian peer Proximus to be its next chief executive.

Leroy, who has led Proximus since 2014, will succeed Maximo Ibarra, who said in June he planned to step down.

In a statement, KPN chairman Duco Sickinghe praised Leroy, who previously worked as a manager at Anglo-Dutch food group Unilever, as a “dynamic, customer-focused and engaging leader with a wealth of experience in the telecommunications industry.”

KPN, which has seen its sales and profit shrink over a period of years, upgraded its forecast for 2019 core earnings in July to “slight” growth from none.

However, the company’s reputation took a hit when it suffered a four-hour network outage that knocked out emergency service lines on June 24.

A day later, Ibarra said he would leave on Sept. 30 to join Comcast’s Sky Italia unit.

KPN said on Thursday that Chief Operating Officer Joost Farwerck would temporarily act as CEO between Ibarra’s departure and when Leroy assumes her new role on Dec. 1. (Reporting by Toby Sterling; Editing by Elaine Hardcastle and Mark Potter)

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