Markus Schmid has stepped down from his role as CEO and chairman of PrimaCom AG and the Tele Columbus Group, the two companies have announced. The operators are affiliated through a common holding company. Michael Buhl, CFO of Tele Columbus, will take control until a replacement is found.
In separate statements, the former Premiere executive was praised for his work in establishing a common digital platform and the forthcoming introduction of an HDTV personal video recorder. Schmid will remain available to the company in an advisory role.
“I thank Markus Schmid for his great accomplishments and his dynamic and successful commitment to our corporate group,” says Robert Fowler, managing director of majority shareholder Orion Cable. “Under his leadership, Tele Columbus has strengthened its independence as a cable provider, set an important course for accelerating the digital television market in Germany and become a permanent fixture in the telecommunications.”
Heinz Rudolf Eble, Chairman of the Supervisory Board of PrimaCom AG thanked Schmid for his commitment and outstanding work. “Over the past 15 months, he has carried out significant strategic and operational developments with great success.”
Fowler maintained the company was in a solid position “to meet the challenges of the changing financial markets”. However, there remains concerns over the €1.8 billion debt pile of parent Orion Cable as its private equity investors look for a restructuring programme.