Appointments

Cellnex hunting for new CEO as Martinez resigns

Tobias Martínez Cellnex.jpg

Tobias Martínez Gimeno has told tower company Cellnex that he will step down as CEO after the group shareholders’ meeting scheduled for 1 June 2023. Martínez will also resign as a director.

Cellnex said its management team will continue to manage the business and help to ensure an orderly transition phase.

Martínez (pictured) said his departure will “open a new chapter in Cellnex’s story”.

He said: “A new stage based on maximizing organic growth, consolidating the industrial project in the countries where we operate today and focusing on balance sheet management to achieve the goal of ‘investment grade’.”

Martínez added: “All these factors have led me to weigh up the need for this stage of the Cellnex evolution to be led by a person with a time horizon that extends beyond December 2024, at which time my contract ends.”

Bertrand Kan, chairman of the board of directors, paid tribute to what he called “the extraordinary accomplishments of Tobias during his eight years as Cellnex’s CEO, since its IPO in May 2015”.

Cellnex split from Spanish motorway company Abertis eight years ago. In its initial public offering, Cellnex shares were valued at €3.5 billion. Seven years later, the company’s market cap on the Madrid stock exchange was €26.7 billion. Since then, the price has slipped a little and today it is worth €22.4 billion.

Kan said: “During his time at the helm of Cellnex, Tobias has shown vision, energy and expertise in leading Cellnex’s transition from a national operator, focused on the Spanish market, to a European company with a presence in 12 countries.”

He said Martínez’s eight years as CEO “have been marked by the company’s transformation from 7,500 telecommunications towers in a single country to 138,000 in 12 countries, serving 15 anchor tenants; the injection of €14.7 billion of equity in four rights issues between 2019 and 2021 to finance this growth; and the consolidation of a clear leading position in terms of corporate governance, transparency and ESG strategy.”

Cellnex has not said whether it will be seeking an external replacement for Martínez or whether it will focus its search on existing executives.

Meanwhile Cellnex UK said rail travellers stuck on the Thameslink line between London and Brighton will soon have full connectivity.

Cellnex and Three UK said they will provide end-to-end connectivity along the Brighton mainline route, which runs to the south coast from London’s Victoria and London Bridge stations.

David Crawford, managing director of Cellnex UK, said: “This agreement with Three UK is a hugely positive step in improving Three UK customer experience along the Brighton mainline route.”

Three is the first of the UK’s four mobile operators to sign an agreement to join the service, which is part of Cellnex UK’s delivery on a 25-year contract with Network Rail – the infrastructure owner – to improve connectivity for passengers and communities along the Brighton route.

As regular travellers know, mobile service between London and Brighton varies from a strong signal to no connectivity at all because of the many tunnels and cuttings along the route.

Lucy McAuliffe, Network Rail’s interim Sussex route director, promised: “Passengers will be able to shop, work and talk whilst travelling and even have seamless connection when travelling through tunnels.”