Brekke: DTAC on right path

New CEO to stick with strategic plan. The mobile operator DTAC expects no organisational changes and is preparing to move forward as planned after CEO Sigve Brekke leaves.
    Mr Brekke, who will become the CEO of Telenor Asia on Sept 1, said that Tore Johnsen, his successor at DTAC, would need to systematically follow up the three-year business plan for fiscal 2008-10 of the Norwegian parent Telenor Group. The plan includes financial targets, business direction, corporate culture and people at Thailand’s second-largest mobile operator, writes Bangkok Post.
    Mr Brekke will oversee Telenor’s four Asian units _ in Thailand, Bangladesh, Pakistan and Malaysia _ with a combined 65 million subscribers, from the Telenor Asia headquarters in Bangkok.
    Mr Brekke said he was confident that Mr Johnsen would lead DTAC in a positive direction, particularly in third-generation (3G) services.
    However, he admitted that two challenges lay ahead for the new CEO, who formerly headed Telenor’s business in Pakistan.
    He said Mr Johnsen would need to understand the dynamic mobile market, which is driven mainly by promotion and marketing activities, and to understand the unique DTAC culture and people.
    Mr Brekke said DTAC might need to set up a new subsidiary to take charge of 3G alone as it was another type of mobile business.
    The company expects to provide commercial 3G service in Bangkok, Chon Buri and Phuket by the end of this year.
    Mr Brekke said that his new job responsibility included analysing the mobile market in Asia, implementing merger and acquisition strategies in new countries in Asia; and following up the group’s four Asian units.
    ”My target as CEO of Telenor Asia is to increase our profile in Asia,” he said.
    He said even though the overall mobile-phone market had not yet seen any serious impact from the bearish economy due to high oil and food prices in the first quarter, DTAC was starting to see shorter calling periods, which he attributed to consumers tightening their belts.
    But he said DTAC had no reason now to decrease its revenue target of between 5-10% in 2008.
    It also expects to have between 3 to 3.5 million new subscribers out of an expected total of 8-10 million new customers this year.
    The company would focus more on provincial markets, the North and Northeast in particular, because 70% of the company’s new subscriber growth came from those regions this year, said Mr Brekke.
    DTAC shares closed yesterday on the Stock Exchange of Thailand at 50 baht, up 75 satang, in trade worth 45.9 million baht.

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