* Current CEO: successor to be named before Q3 results
* Q3 figures scheduled for Oct. 26
* Several names mentioned in media
* Scheepbouwer led company for almost a decade
(Adds further details, names, background)
By Nicola Leske
BRUSSELS, Sept 23 (Reuters) - Ad Scheepbouwer, the man who took the helm at Dutch telecoms group KPN almost a decade ago and steadied the boat after the rocky M&A adventure of his predecessor, said his own successor was due to be named soon.
Scheepbouwer told Reuters on Thursday KPN (KPN.AS) would name his replacement before the company reports its third-quarter results, which are due on Oct. 26.
Born in 1944, Scheepbouwer has been CEO since Nov. 2001 and was due to step down by July 2011.
Under Scheepbouwer, KPN’s share price recovered from 1.9 euros in the third quarter of 2001 to some 11.5 euros now, after crashing from a high of some 70 euros in 2000 as the Internet bubble burst.
Dutch media have been speculating heavily in recent days over who might succeed him, with a variety of internal and external candidates named.
The Financieel Dagblad daily said on Thursday that Belgium’s Telenet Group Holding (TNET.BR) CEO Duco Sickinghe had said he was not in talks with KPN after his name had been mentioned in other papers.
Earlier this paper said headhunters Egon Zehnder had proposed Sickinghe and Niek Jan van Damme of Deutsche Telekom (DTEGn.DE).
Van Damme was head of T-Mobile Netherlands before joining the parent company management board in Feb 2009.
De Telegraaf mass-circulation daily said executive board members Eelco Blok and Baptiest Coopmans were internal candidates while some investors had ‘frowned’ upon the fact that chief financial officer Carla Smits-Nusteling was not in the running.
A KPN spokesman said the company had no comment on possible candidates.
Scheepbouwer is one of the few Dutch executives without an academic degree. His name means shipbuilder in Dutch, appropriate for someone born in Dordrecht near Rotterdam where there are many shipyards.
He worked as a waiter on a cruise ship at age 16 and followed his father into factory work, but a motorcycle accident put him in hospital for a year and prevented him from doing physical work.
He started his career with shipping and transport firms before being picked in 1988 to run the state postal services.
At KPN he succeeded Paul Smits who held unsuccessful merger talks with Telefonica and Belgacom while the company had heavy debts run up with the costly 3G mobile frequency auctions.
Reporting by Nicola Leske in Brussels, writing by Ben Berkowitz and Marcel Michelson in Amsterdam; editing by Elaine Hardcastle