Ibarra is the new kid on the Blok as CEO quits KPN

Former Wind Tre CEO Maximo Ibarra is to become the new CEO of Dutch operator KPN after current chief Eelco Blok announced plans to step down next year.

Blok, who has been CEO of the Dutch incumbent for seven years, said it was “time for a change” when explaining the reasons behind his departure. He started his career with KPN back in 1983 and first joined the board of directors in 2004.

Blok said: “After seven years as CEO and many years at KPN it is now time for a change. I am proud that KPN has transformed into a modern company focused on value creation for all stakeholders, with the customer positioned at the centre of everything. With many highly dedicated people at KPN we have been able to make KPN stronger, more flexible and the leader in sustainability, during challenging times for the industry.”

Chairman of KPN's Supervisory Board Duco Sickinghe said: "During his successful tenure as CEO, Eelco Blok has been able to put KPN into a very strong position, as we can all see today. Eelco deserves a lot of credit for his relentless focus on execution and enormous personal drive. His leadership and commitment to the success and evolution of KPN has been, and is impressive.”

Ibarra will take the reins at KPN in April, having last served at Italian mobile operator Wind Tre. Ibarra began his career with Telecom Italia before spending five years at Omnitel Vodafone. He spent a number of years outside of the telecoms industry at firms including DHL and Fiat, before returning to the sector as managing director of Wind Telecomunicazioni in 2004.

"Maximo Ibarra is a dynamic leader with a proven track record in the telecommunications industry and a deep understanding of customer needs. As CEO of Wind in Italy, Maximo has successfully led the merger between Wind and H3G, creating Wind Tre, a leading integrated mobile and fixed player in the Italian market.”


In 2012 Ibarra was named CEO of Wind and then went on to oversee the merger of the VEON (then VimpelCom)-owned operator with Hutchison’s Italian unit, Three. He was replaced by Jeffrey Hedberg as Wind Tre CEO in June.

Ibarra will join the company as a strategic advisor on 15 January before taking up the CEO role in April. He will receive a salary of €935,000 per year, in addition to incentives, and a one-off payment of €200,000 in cash and the same amount in shares, KPN said.

Ibarra added: "I am extremely pleased to be nominated as the next CEO of KPN. I recognize the strategic direction of the company, admire its industry achievements, and I am looking forward to working with the entire KPN team to continue to deliver outstanding service for customers and creating value for all stakeholders. In addition, my family and I are very much looking forward to living in the Netherlands."