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Cellcom Israel CEO resigns

Cellcom Israel has announced the plans for CEO Nir Sztern to resign after eight years as CEO. 

It is believed that Sztern is the frontrunner take up the reigns as CEO of Paz Oil, after the energy company’s CEO quit over disagreements with the chairman.

The news follows the September resignation of Sholem Lapidot, the CEO of Cellcom’s holding firm Discount Investment Company (DIC).

Sztern’s departure date is yet to be confirmed. Cellcom said that its board has nominated a committee to oversee the process of locating and selecting a new CEO, suggesting that the appointment will be external. Company chairman Ami Erel will manage the transition. 

Markets have reacted poorly to the news, with Cellcom’s share price dropping by 6%.

Cellcom has been in a difficult position for most of Sztern’s time at the helm. The stable telecommunications market in Israel was heavily disrupted by the introduction of a range of new operators in 2012. This led to a price war between operators, with Cellcom suffering significant drops in subscribers, revenue and profit. 

This decline is best exemplified by the fact that Cellcom’s share price declined 85% during Sztern’s tenure. 

The company embarked on a recovery plan earlier this year which included a ILS150 million (€38 million) cut in expenses. This manifested in drastic job cuts of a third of the company’s workforce, with staff staging a walkout in response.