Swisscom CEO Found Dead; Police Suspects Suicide

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Carsten Schloter, the chief executive officer of Swisscom AG (ADR) (OTCMKTS:SCMWY) (VTX:SCMN) was found dead at his home in the Freiburg area on Tuesday morning. Authorities assumed that the CEO of the largest telecommunications company in Switzerland committed a suicide as reported by Reuters.

Swisscom CEO Found Dead; Police Suspects Suicide

Swisscom Chairman’s statements

In a statement, Swisscom AG (ADR) (OTCMKTS:SCMWY) (VTX:SCMN) chairman Hansueli Loosli said, “The Board of Directors, Group Executive Board and the entire workforce are deeply saddened and pass on their condolences to the family and relatives.”

According to the company, Urs Schäppi, deputy CEO and head of Swisscom Switzerland will take over the responsibilities of leading the company temporarily.

Swisscom AG (ADR) (OTCMKTS:SCMWY) (VTX:SCMN) also said that investigation regarding the real circumstances of Schloter’s death is underway, and out of respect to his family it will not reveal any further details regarding the situation.

Meanwhile, Pierre-Andre Weber, spokesperson at the Cantonal Police in Freiburg said, “We can confirm that the first elements of the investigation make us think it was a suicide. It is impossible to say at this stage how long the investigation will take.”

Carsten Schloter work history

Schloter is a German national. He joined Swisscom AG (ADR) (OTCMKTS:SCMWY) (VTX:SCMN) in 2000 as head of Swisscom Mobile. The company promoted him as CEO in 2006.  Prior to his career at the Swiss telecoms company, Schloter worked for Mercedez and Debitel in France and Germany. He had a degree in Business Administration and Information Technology and he is fluent in English and French.

Reuters noted that during his preview interviews, Schloter said that he was a victim of modern communications who is always on the go. According to him, it was too easy to get lost in the stream of information.

Schweiz am Sonntag newspaper quoted one of his statements wherein he said, “I find it increasingly difficult to unwind.”  Schloter has three children.

As chief executive officer of Swisscom AG (ADR) (OTCMKTS:SCMWY) (VTX:SCMN), Schloter initiated the acquisition of Fastweb, a broadband network in Italy to prevent the slow growth of the company in Switzerland due to price pressure caused by increasing competition.

Swisscom remained owned by Swiss Government

Swisscom AG (ADR) (OTCMKTS:SCMWY) (VTX:SCMN) remained majority owned by the government of Switzerland. The company’s financial performance is weakening because many consumers shift from using traditional voice calls and sending text messages to Skype and other apps including What’s App and Viber, which allow users to route calls and messages through data plans.

The Competition Commission in Switzerland opened an investigation against the company after its competitors alleged that it abused its dominant position in broadband internet for business clients.

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