Digicel’s CEO dies suddenly

first_imgAlex Matuschka von Greiffenclau, the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of telecommunications company Digicel, died suddenly on Thursday while on holiday with his family in his native Germany.A report from the online edition of the Irish Times stated, “No words can adequately express our sadness at Alex’s passing or our gratitude for having worked with him,” Digicel Chairman Denis O’Brien said, who stepped in as interim CEO following Matuschka von Greiffenclau’s death. “Digicel has lost a committed hard-working and exceptional Chief Executive,” he added.The 47-year-old joined Digicel last February, succeeding former Digicel Chief Executive Colm Delves, after working with another Dutch company, Veon and serving as a senior executive with Nokia out of Finland.No further details were provided regarding how the CEO met his demise; however, he leaves to mourn his wife and three teenage children.“Those of us who have been fortunate enough to know him on a personal level have lost a dear friend,” O’Brien is quoted by the Irish Times as saying.“Over the coming days, we will share our thoughts for a suitable commemoration of Alex and his enormous contribution to the transformation of Digicel.”Von Greiffenclau is said to have been a key figure to the Digicel group and played an important role in negotiations with bondholders on a debt refinancing, which concluded last week.“It involved the majority of holders of US$3 billion (€2.6 billion) of bonds in the heavily-indebted company agreeing to swap their notes, which were due in 2020 and 2022, for long-dated securities… On joining Digicel, Mr von Greiffenclau inherited a group restructuring plan, known invariably as either Digicel 2030 or ‘Project Swan’, which included a plan, outlined in February 2016, to cut more than 25 per cent of the group’s staff – or more than 1500 roles – over 18 months” the Irish report revealed.Von Greiffenclau also spearheaded an initiative expected to reduce Digicel’s debt to 5.7 times earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation (ebitda) from a ratio of 6.7 times at the end of the group’s last financial year in March.The blueprint is predicated on boosting earnings by 10 per cent to about US$1.1 billion (€960,000) for the current financial year, and generating about US$500 million (€480 million) from asset sales.last_img read more