Deutsche Telekom lures head of IBM Germany

Deutsche Telekom, Europe's largest telecommunications company, has picked the head of IBM's German subsidiary to manage its newly created broadband and fixed-network unit.

Walter Raizner, the 50-year old chairman of the management board at IBM Deutschland, will become a board member of Deutsche Telekom from Nov. 1 and take responsibility for the carrier's new unit that combines the private consumer business operations of both its T-Com fixed-network unit and T-Online International Internet subsidiary, the company said Friday.

In January 2003, Raizner replaced Erwin Staudt as head of IBM Germany after working for the company for nearly 20 years. Raizner, who studied economics and information technology, held positions at the former German chemical company Hoechst and computer company Nixdorf before joining the U.S. computer giant.

On Friday, Big Blue named Johann Weihen to head its German subsidiary. Weihen reports to Hans-Ulrich Maerki, general manager of IBM's operations in the Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA) region.

Referring to Raizner's decision, the company said it regretted to see one of its top managers leave the group.

Raizner's appointment sparked the resignation of T-Online Chief Executive Officer (CEO) and Deutsche Telekom board member Thomas Holtrop, who will leave the company Sept. 30. Deutsche Telekom moved swiftly to appoint T-Online Chief Financial Officer Rainer Beaujean as the unit's new chief executive.

T-Com has been without a CEO since Josef Brauer quit earlier this year after an electronic truck-toll system, which he oversaw, failed to meet a government deadline. The system is still not in operation.

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