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Cellnex Names New Non-Executive Chair Amid CEO Search and Activist Pressure


DEF 14 Inc. March 28, 2023


Cellnex Telecom, a leading independent operator of wireless telecommunications infrastructure, has announced the appointment of Anne Bouverot as its new non-executive chairperson. Bouverot is a seasoned telecommunications executive and former Director General of GSMA, the global trade body that represents the interests of mobile network operators.


The appointment of Bouverot comes at a time when Cellnex is looking to fill the void left by the departure of its CEO, Tobias Martinez. The company has been without a permanent CEO since Martinez resigned in September 2022. In the interim, Cellnex's Chairman, Francisco Reynés, has been acting as CEO.


In addition to Bouverot's appointment, Cellnex also announced the resignation of its former Chairman, Franco Bernabè, who had been with the company since 2015. Bernabè's resignation comes after a group of activist investors, led by Singaporean sovereign wealth fund GIC, put pressure on the company to shake up its board and improve its corporate governance.


The activist investors have been critical of the company's corporate governance practices and have been calling for the appointment of new independent directors to the board. In response, Cellnex has been making changes to its board composition in an effort to address the concerns of the activists.


One of the changes that Cellnex has made is the appointment of Anne Bouverot as non-executive chairperson. Bouverot is a highly respected telecommunications executive and has held senior positions at Orange and GSMA. Her appointment is seen as a positive move for Cellnex, as it demonstrates the company's commitment to improving its corporate governance and bringing in fresh talent to the board.


The appointment of Bouverot is also expected to provide a boost to Cellnex's search for a new CEO. Bouverot is a highly experienced telecommunications executive and is expected to use her industry knowledge and contacts to help the company find a suitable candidate for the CEO role.


In addition to the appointment of Bouverot, Cellnex has also announced other changes to its board, including the appointment of three new independent directors. These changes are part of Cellnex's ongoing efforts to address the concerns of the activist investors and improve its corporate governance practices.


Overall, the appointment of Anne Bouverot as non-executive chairperson is seen as a positive move for Cellnex. It demonstrates the company's commitment to improving its corporate governance and bringing in fresh talent to the board. The appointment is also expected to provide a boost to the company's search for a new CEO, as Bouverot's industry knowledge and contacts are likely to prove invaluable in the search process.


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