Proximus appoints Boutin to lead its digital transformation

Proximus appoints Boutin to lead its digital transformation

29 November 2019 | Antony Savvas

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The company searched for a new person for the top job after the previous incumbent left for KPN, before having that offer pulled.

Belgian telco Proximus has appointed Frenchman Guillaumme Boutin as its new CEO, and successor to Dominique Leroy, who left the company in September to join KPN – in a move that did not work out.

Boutin (pictured) has been appointed for a period of six years and will start on 1 December. As CEO, Boutin has been tasked with continuing the digitisation of the Belgium government majority-owned Proximus Group, implementing the company’s transformation plan.

He was previously at French telco SFR and the Canal+ Group, before joining Proximus 2017 and gaining responsibility for the company’s consumer business. He is the first foreigner since the early 1990s to hold the CEO position at Proximus.

Stefaan De Clerck, chairman of the board of directors at Proximus, said: “I am very satisfied with the appointment of Guillaume Boutin as new CEO at a decisive moment for the company, with the #shifttodigital strategy, the rapid evolution of market needs and the upcoming implementation of the transformation plan.”

Boutin said: “Proximus is a unique company. I know the exceptional talent and professionalism of its teams, the strength of its brands and the excellence of its networks and customer service. We will build on these key assets to further strengthen Proximus’ position as a leading operator in Belgium and Luxembourg.”

Last month, Dutch-headquartered KPN appointed company veteran Joost Farwerck as its new CEO and Chris Figee as its new CFO, who came from publicly-listed insurance group ASR Netherlands.

KPN withdrew its job offer to its first choice chief executive officer after a police insider trading investigation was launched against her. Dominique Leroy, CEO of Belgium’s Proximus, had been named as KPN’s new CEO in September.

But afterwards Belgian authorities launched an investigation into her sale of around €300,000-worth of Proximus shares in early August, at a time when she was in talks with KPN about joining.

Leroy has denied any insider trading and has argued that she had not decided to leave Proximus at the time of the transaction. She has however regretted the “perception” around the trade.