Telefónica unveils reshuffle of its board of directors
Julio Linares named COO, head of Spanish division resigns.
20 December 2007
MADRID - Leading Spanish telecoms group Telefónica announced on Wednesday that it was restructuring its board of directors, naming a separate chief operating officer for the first time in four years, and announcing the unexpected departure of the head of its fixed-line Spanish division.
In a statement to the National Securities Commission, Telefónica said that the company's current general manager for coordination, business development and synergies, Julio Linares, was being promoted to COO.
After the departure of Fernando Abril-Martorell in 2003, the company's chief executive duties had been performed by Executive Chairman César Alierta.
Telefónica's three regional business divisions - Spain, Europe and Latin America - will now report directly to the COO. Observers said the move would free Alierta to focus on Telefónica's strategy.
Telefónica also announced that the general manager of Telefónica España, Antonio Viana-Baptista, was "leaving the company on his accord citing personal reasons."
There were reports Viana-Baptista disagreed with the way the company was being run. Antonio Viana-Baptista will be replaced by his deputy at Telefónica España, Guillermo Ansaldo.
Telefónica also named Manuel Pizarro and Javier de Paz to its board to replace Enrique Used and Maximino Carpio.
Pizarro, who is considered close to the opposition Popular Party, recently stepped down as chairman of Endesa, the country's largest electricity supplier. While at Endesa he successfully fought off a hostile takeover bid by Gas Natural, which is controlled by La Caixa. The savings bank in turn is one of Telefónica's leading shareholders with a 5.4-percent stake.
[Copyright EL PAÍS, SL. 2007]
Subject: Spanish news