KPN names Farwerck new CEO after earlier candidate debacle

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AMSTERDAM (Reuters) – Top Dutch telecoms company KPN NV (AS:) said on Tuesday it will name Joost Farwerck as its new chief executive officer, a day after it dropped a previous candidate amid an insider trading investigation.

Farwerck, who is currently the company’s chief operating officer and acting CEO, takes the top job as the company seeks to increase underlying earnings after years of declines and stagnation.

Farwerck replaces Maximo Ibarra, who left in June to lead Sky Italia.

On Monday, KPN dropped its plan to name Belgian executive Dominique Leroy as its new CEO, after she became embroiled in an insider trading investigation in Belgium.

Leroy said she did nothing wrong, but KPN said it could not press ahead with her appointment with the investigation pending.

“Joost knows the company inside and out,” said Chairman Duco Sickinghe in a statement, adding that he was confident he could help the company meet 2019-2021 growth targets.

Separately on Tuesday, KPN announced a wider board shake-up. It said Chief Financial Officer Jan Kees de Jager would leave the company in March 2020 after five years in the job to pursue “international entrepreneurial opportunities”.

De Jager, a former politician, will be replaced by an executive from Dutch insurer ASR, Chris Figee.

The company said it would add four additional executives to its management board, including a consumer market chief, a business market chief, and a chief technology officer.

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