Telefónica chief to step down after 16 years

30 March 2016 | Jason McGee-Abe

Telefónica has announced that after almost 16 years at the helm, César Alierta, CEO and executive chairman of Telefónica is to step down from his role.

Cesar AliertaCOO José María Álvarez-Pallete, who has been in his role since 2012 and has held top management positions at Telefónica over the past 17 years, is stepping in as executive chairman. Alierta has proposed that Álvarez-Pallete takeover his position, a decision which will be made by the board on April 8, 2016.

“With his long track-record in top executive positions at Telefónica and experience managing the day to day of all operations from his current post as COO of the company, Alierta considers Álvarez-Pallete as the best prepared executive to make a smooth transition and position Telefónica once again at the forefront, this time, of the digital sector,” a Telefónica statement read.

Alierta will remain on Telefónica’s board of directors, a position he has held since 1998, and maintain his position as executive chairman of Fundación Telefónica.

Under Alierta´s tenure, the Telefónica statement added: “Telefónica has moved from being a relevant player in the telecommunication sector in Spain and Latin America to becoming leader in its key strategic markets: Brazil, Germany, Spain and Latin America.”

Álvarez-Pallete joined the Telefónica Group in February 1999 as CFO of Telefónica Internacional after having worked in Cemex. Since then he has been in charge of corporate finances as Telefónica’s CFO, until 2002; executive chairman of Telefónica Internacional; Telefónica Latinoamérica chairman, a position he occupied until he was appointed executive chairman of Telefónica Europe in 2011. He became COO of Telefónica S.A. a year later. Álvarez-Pallete has sat on the board of Telefónica S.A. since July 2006.