Ad hoc announcement pursuant to Art. 53 LR / New CEO

Far-sighted succession planning at the top of Swisscom

After a successful 23-year career at Swisscom, including nine years at the helm of the company, Urs Schaeppi (1960) has decided to step down from his role as CEO on 1 Juni 2022. The Board of Directors has elected Christoph Aeschlimann as the new CEO of Swisscom. The computer science graduate (45) is currently Head of Infrastructure, Network and IT and a member of the Group Executive Board. He and his family live in Geneva.

Portrait of Urs Schaeppi and Christoph Aeschlimann

As the figures for the 2021 financial year show, Swisscom is solidly positioned today, strong in the market and ready for the future. According to Michael Rechsteiner, Chairman of the Board of Directors, “Urs Schaeppi is directly linked to Swisscom’s success story. Over the past 23 years, he has played a key role in shaping our company on its journey from a telephone provider to an integrated ICT group, and I would like to express our considerable gratitude to him for this. Under Urs Schaeppi, Swisscom has positioned itself as an industry leader, continued to push digitisation forward and been integral to the development of Fastweb. Since Urs Schaeppi took over as CEO in 2013, the number of blue TV customers has increased by around 60% and the number of Fastweb broadband customers in Italy by around 40%. Both the mobile and fixed network infrastructures have been greatly expanded in recent years and are now among the best in the world. The IT business in Switzerland has also grown strongly under his leadership, and we have expanded into areas such as cloud and security.”

After graduating in engineering and business economics, Urs Schaeppi joined the mobile communications division of Swisscom in 1998 as Head of Commercial Business. In 2006, he was appointed CEO of Swisscom Solutions and soon after became Head of Enterprise Customers. To ensure a smooth transition, Urs Schaeppi will be available to Swisscom in an advisory capacity from 1 June until the end of 2022, when he will embark on new entrepreneurial activities. Urs Schaeppi to step down from the Group Executive Board on 1 June.

“I have had a wonderful time in the most exciting industry and one of the most fascinating companies in Switzerland. From the emergence of mobile phones in the 90s to the sophisticated smartphone, fast networks and cloud data, technology and the way we communicate have changed tremendously, both privately and in business,” says Urs Schaeppi. “Now is the right time for a change. It has always been a privilege and a great pleasure for me to have experienced this rapid development at such close quarters and to have played my part in it. I would like to thank all the employees, customers and partners for the trust they have placed in me. I will of course stay in touch with the many colleagues at Swisscom and in our industry.”

Board of Directors appoints Christoph Aeschlimann as new CEO

“I am delighted to have Christoph Aeschlimann as our new CEO. He is a proven IT professional with broad management and market experience and detailed knowledge of the network and infrastructure sector,” said Michael Rechsteiner. “Having spent several years with our company, he is very familiar with Swisscom and the challenges we face. He is ready for this new task and will successfully take Swisscom to the next level together with the management team.”

Christoph Aeschlimann has been Head of Infrastructure, Network and IT and a member of Swisscom’s Group Executive Board since 2019. He will commence his new role as CEO on 1 June 2022. After completing his degree in computer science at the Federal Institute of Technology Lausanne, he gained an MBA from McGill University in Canada. He then began his professional career as a software developer at financial services provider Odyssey. After a short period with innovation services provider Zühlke, he returned to Odyssey, where he held a number of management positions. Before joining Swisscom, he worked for software developer ERNI in different managerial positions, initially as Managing Director Switzerland, then as CEO of the group. Christoph Aeschlimann grew up in Basel and has lived in Geneva with his wife and two children for many years. Christoph Aeschlimann’s successor as Head of Infrastructure, Network and IT will be announced in due course.

“I am very much looking forward to my new role as CEO and thank the Board of Directors for placing their trust in me,” says Christoph Aeschlimann. “As Urs Schaeppi's successor, I am aware that I have some very big boots to fill and high expectations to live up to. I am delighted to accept this challenge and know I can rely on an outstanding management team. Working alongside my 20,000 motivated Swisscom colleagues, I am ready to give the best for our customers.”

Gradual succession at Swisscom

Swisscom has successfully held its own in the market for many years, investing in the ongoing expansion of its outstanding infrastructure throughout Switzerland and attracting customers as a market and innovation leader. To continue writing the Swisscom success story, the Board of Directors and CEO have consistently driven Swisscom’s succession planning forward in recent years, prudently initiating a generation change. Christoph Aeschlimann succeeded Heinz Herren as CTIO, Klementina Pejic succeeded Hans Werner as CPO and Eugen Stermetz succeeded Mario Rossi as CFO. Michael Rechsteiner was elected to succeed Hansueli Loosli by the Annual General Meeting in April 2021.

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