BERLIN — Adrian von Hammerstein has replaced Christof Wahl as chief exec of Kabel Deutschland (KDG), Germany’s biggest cable operator.
Von Hammerstein, a former exec at Siemens, will have the challenging task of boosting the cabler’s triple-play subscribers following the group’s massive investments to upgrade cable lines for digital pay-TV, high-speed Internet and telephony services.
Although KDG said Wahl’s exit after four years at the group was a mutual decision, execs at KDG’s owner, private equity group Providence, were said to be disappointed with KDG’s performance in the Internet and telephony sector.
KDG, which last year posted annual revenue of some $1.4 billion, operates in 13 of Germany’s 16 federal states, reaching some 10 million households. Its Internet and telephony business lags far behind that of telco giant Deutsche Telekom.
KDG, along with Germany’s other main cable operators Unity Media and Kabel BW, are investing a combined $691.4 million in further development of triple-play services this year.
“The appointment of Dr. von Hammerstein marks the beginning of a new phase for Kabel Deutschland,” said Heinz Riesenhuber, chairman of KDG’s supervisory board. Following the launch of triple-play services, Riesenhuber said the point now was “for Kabel Deutschland to assert itself in tough competition. Dr. von Hammerstein is a strong and experienced CEO who has proven on multiple occasions that he can lead a company to success across a multitude of market conditions. We are therefore convinced that he will make Kabel Deutschland a leading provider of telecommunication services and further reinforce the company’s television infrastructure position.”
Von Hammerstein, who takes the reins at the group on May 21, most recently served as executive officer at Siemens Business Services and prior to that was CEO of Fujitsu Siemens Computers.
In related news, Kathrin Anselm, who oversaw on-demand products at KDG as a senior manager, has joined ProSiebenSat 1 as head of corporate development in the group’s diversification division.
Anselm will oversee new business models and strategic alliances at the group’s various non-advertising divisions such as SevenOne Intermedia, MM MerchandisingMedia, SevenSenses and transaction web 9Live.
Anselm replaces Mirjam Laux, who will head business development at ProSiebenSat 1’s SevenSenses unit, which oversees the group’s pay-TV, video-on-demand and digital TV operations.