Daniel Ritz hands over as Tele Columbus CEO to Markus Oswald as of February 2023
- Daniel Ritz will leave the company at his own request at the end of his contract term on January 31, 2023
- Markus Oswald will take over as Chief Executive Officer as of February 1, 2023
- Marc van’t Noordende, Chairman of the Supervisory Board of Tele Columbus AG: “We would like to thank Daniel Ritz and are pleased to have found a highly qualified candidate in Markus Oswald, who will continue to pursue the existing growth strategy.”
Berlin – September 9, 2022 Daniel Ritz will step down as CEO of Tele Columbus at the end of his contract period on January 31, 2023 and will leave Tele Columbus AG at his own request. Daniel Ritz had informed the Supervisory Board that he would not be available for a further term in office. As a result, the Supervisory Board appointed Markus Oswald as his successor effective February 1, 2023. Markus Oswald was most recently Head of Housing Industry at Vodafone Germany.
Daniel Ritz took office early 2020 to define Tele Columbus’ future strategy, raise the funds required for its implementation and thus to position the company sustainably for the long term. Two and a half years later, these milestones have been achieved: Tele Columbus has a clear strategy, majority shareholders who support the strategy with their experience and capital, as well as tangible accomplishments in the market to show for it. “On behalf of the Supervisory Board and the employees of Tele Columbus, I would like to thank Daniel Ritz for his excellent work and achievements. With the Fiber Champion Strategy, which bears his signature, he has given the company a new mission, defined a clear direction and made significant progress in the fiber network and broadband penetration. With the takeover by Kublai, he also brought financially strong partners on board and thus laid the foundation for the implementation of the strategy,” says Marc van’t Noordende, Chairman of the Supervisory Board of Tele Columbus AG.
Kublai GmbH is the majority shareholder of Tele Columbus with a stake of around 95 percent. Kublai, in turn, is 60 percent owned by Morgan Stanley Infrastructure and 40 percent by United Internet. Kublai became the majority shareholder of Tele Columbus through a public takeover offer, which was successfully completed in 2021. Subsequently, Kublai took the company off the stock exchange through a delisting offer that had the support of the Tele Columbus Management Board.
Van’t Noordende added: “After completing the first phase of the transformation, the company is now in a very good position to further strengthen its leading role in the expansion of its fiber networks. We are delighted to have found a highly qualified industry expert in Markus Oswald, who will continue to pursue the existing growth strategy. He has an impressive track record – particularly in the realms of marketing and sales – in the business-to-consumer and housing industry sectors, both of which are particularly important to the company’s strategy. Our goal remains to enable substantial investments for the further build-out of fiber networks in Germany and, above all, to further expand the cooperation with the housing industry.”
Markus Oswald is a proven industry expert with decades of experience. Over the past 25 years, he has held management positions at various cable providers in Germany, including Deutsche Telekom, Kabel Deutschland and Vodafone. Since 2015, he was heading the Housing Industry business division at Vodafone. As part of the merger with Unitymedia in 2019 and the associated geographical expansion of Vodafone’s broadband network coverage across all of Germany, he then assumed the nation-wide responsibility for the housing industry.
At Vodafone Germany, Markus Oswald had a very strong track record of new business acquisition and thereby played a key role in driving the expansion and the modernization of the hybrid fiber coax network, while creating new product offerings for the housing industry. Hence, he not only has many years of experience in working with housing associations and the business-to-consumer segment but has also demonstrated his ability to successfully implement corporate strategies in previous positions. With the nomination of Markus Oswald, Tele Columbus underscores its ambition to expand the company’s position as a leading fiber network operator and to further drive the implementation of the Fiber Champion Strategy established under Daniel Ritz. Markus Oswald was born in Duisburg and studied economics in Duisburg and Sheffield, UK.
“Tele Columbus is very well positioned for the future. That’s why it’s the right time for me to take on a new challenge,” says Daniel Ritz. “I am proud of what we have achieved as a team over the past two and a half years. Until I hand over responsibility for the company to my successor in a few months, I will continue to devote all my energy to implementing the corporate strategy.”