Telekom Austria boss resigns

The head of Telekom Austria, Hannes Ametsreiter, has unexpectedly announced he will leave the company "soon" and "voluntarily" after more than five years in the job.

Telekom Austria boss resigns
Hannes Ametsreiter. Photo:

Ametsreiter has resigned and will leave the company, which is majority owned by Mexican tycoon Carlos Slim, at the end of July Telekom Austria confirmed on Monday.

Telekom Austria's shares were down 2.7 per cent at €5.81 in late morning trading.

The company didn't give a reason for Ametsreiter's decision.

Two sources told Reuters news agency that the move came as a surprise, and there was speculation that he has been offered another job. 

A report in Die Presse newspaper suggested that Ametsreiter may have been forced to resign because of pressure from Slim's America Movil.

Ametsreiter's contract was set to run out at the end of 2016 and had an extension option until 2018. 

Slim has said he wants to use Telekom Austria as a base for further expansion into central and eastern Europe.
He introduced Alejandro Plater as Telekom Austria's new chief operating officer in March. Should no successor for Ametsreiter be appointed by the end of July, Plater as deputy CEO would take over in the interim period.

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Germany’s BMW to put €1 billion into electric vehicles in Austria

German auto manufacturer BMW said on Monday it would invest "around one billion euros" in the production of electric vehicles at a plant in Austria from 2025.

Germany's BMW to put €1 billion into electric vehicles in Austria

Altogether, 600,000 units a year should roll off the line at the factory in Steyr under the investment plan, set to run until 2030, BMW said in a statement.

From 2025, BMW will “develop and produce the next generation of e-drives” at the Austrian site, BMW’s production chief Milan Nedeljkovic said.

The refurbishment of the plant will see two new production lines added and the location expanded by 60,000 square metres.

The new facilities would require €710 million in investment, while €230 million would be dedicated to boosting vehicle development at Steyr.

“Around half” the 4,400 employees at the site would be working on “e-mobility” by 2030, plant boss Alexander Susanek said.

The Bavarian manufacturer said it aimed to have two million electric vehicles on the road by 2025, promising 13 new electric models and a revamp of its Mini brand.

BMW has already said it will spend €400 million to upgrade its home factory in Munich to produce electric vehicles.