OTE CEO seeks to reassure workers on DT acquisition

Deutsche Telekom’s (DT) acquisition of a major stake in OTE telecom and its participation in management will be beneficial to all those affected by the Greek utility’s fortunes, its CEO, Panagis Vourloumis said in a message to employees yesterday. The government announced on Wednesday a deal with DT, according to which each side will hold 25 percent in OTE plus one share. DT will also appoint OTE’s CEO but the government will retain some veto powers. OTE unions strongly opposed the deal, fearing job losses, and have vowed to continue protest action. Vourloumis sought to assure the unions that DT’s assumption of the management is counterbalanced by the government’s veto in issues of strategy and corporate identity, as well as full control as regards issues affecting national security and defense. «It is only human that every change causes feelings of insecurity which often become the object of exploitation… The change in the share capital composition will not affect you,» Vourloumis said. He said the basic objective is to improve OTE’s profitability, which will also depend on the employees’ efforts. «It is everyone’s responsibility to make OTE stronger,» Vourloumis said. Regarding labor issues and regulations, he said these will continue to be governed by the national legislation in the countries where OTE has a presence. For Greece in particular, the deal provides for a consultation committee comprising representatives from all sides, for matters outside the company’s direct scope of responsibility.