Disputed Telecom Egypt CEO to retire, workers will not push a candidate
Ahram Online, Monday 2 Jan 2012
Landline monopoly head will step down in January but employees who have protested alleged corruption and financial mismanagement at the firm say they will accept new appointee

The CEO of landline monopoly Telecom Egypt (TE) has announced he will leave his post on 18 January, the date he reaches retirement age.

Along with the company’s board of directors, CEO Mohamed Abdel Rehim has been the target of TE’s workers’ ire and dissatisfaction, which translated into large labour protests last October.

TE employees accuse management of corruption and causing financial losses for the company. They have also demanded the revision of the salaries of the company’s higher-ranking officials.

A partial strike was undertaken by some staff of Egypt’s largest telecom firm in October, but TE's operations were largely unaffected, except for disruptions in its directory service.

For their part, TE’s Independent Worker’s Syndicate (IWS) and Coalition for Change (TECC), issued a joint-statement saying they do not plan to interfere with the appointment of a new company head.

"Judging from experiences of other institutions and political movements that have spent a lot of time and effort in choosing leaders then turned against it, we will refrain from naming individuals and continue to act as a pressure group,” the statement read.

The company already undertook a wage restructuring project in November, a move that helped ease employees’ anger.

TE, boasting 9 million customers and around 55,000 employees, posted a 21 per cent drop in its third-quarter net profits as it continues to suffer the economic fallout of the January 25 revolution.

The company, which is banking on data services to offset lower fixed-line income, saw its net income fall to LE622.7 million from LE789.8 million in the same period a year earlier.

Financial results for nine months showed Telecom Egypt achieved a net profit of LE2.3 billion.