Bonn, Germany, Nov. 15: Deutsche Telekom, the debt-burdened German telephone colossus, named the 41-year-old son of one of its former bosses as chief executive on Thursday, ending a four-month search that was distinguished by the number of people who did not want the job.
The official, Kai-Uwe Ricke, will take over a fragile company, still struggling to digest the lavish overseas acquisitions made by his predecessor, Ron Sommer, who was ousted last July in a boardroom purge orchestrated by the German chancellor, Gerhard Schroeder.
The cost of Sommer's ambitions was evident in Deutsche Telekom's latest earnings, also released Thursday. It reported a loss of $ 24.7 billion in the first nine months of 2002 after it wrote off $ 18 billion in the value of its US cellular subsidiary, VoiceStream.
That is one of the biggest losses in European corporate history. And it left Ricke, a trusted lieutenant of Sommer who ran Deutsche Telekom’s mobile-phone operations, understandably eager to turn the page, as he made his debut at a crowded news conference here. “My job is not to justify what has happened in the past,”Ricke said