Cellcom names Avi Gabbay CEO

Avi Gabbay Photo: Knesset spokesman

Gabbay, who was CEO of Bezeq before a stint in politics, is a surprise appointment. He replaces Nir Sztern, who is joining Paz.

The board of directors of Cellcom Israel Ltd. (NYSE:CEL; TASE:CEL) has announced the appointment of Avi Gabbay as CEO of the company.

The other candidates for the job were from within the company: VP sales and service Amos Maor, and CFO Shlomi Fruhling.

Gabbay's appointment is a surprise in respect of his willingness to return to a managerial position. It was widely expected in the market that he would want to return to the business world, following his period as chairman of the Labor Party, as chairman of a major company, or as a member of an investor consortium bidding for one of the telecommunications groups in Israel. No-one thought that Gabbay, who in the past was CEO of Bezeq Israeli Telecommunication Co. Ltd. (TASE: BEZQ) and of Bezeq International, would agree to come back as a chief executive, and of a telecommunications company at that. Several of the CEOs and VPs in the Israeli telecommunications market served under Gabbay at Bezeq and Bezeq International.

Gabbay is due to take up the post at Cellcom on January 19, replacing Nir Sztern, who has been appointed CEO of Paz Oil Company Ltd. (TASE:PZOL).

Gabbay was one of the founders of the Kulanu Party, until he left to join Labor. Between 1994 and 1998 he served in various positions in the Budget Division of the Ministry of Finance. He holds BA degree in economics and an MBA from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem.

Cellcom chairman Ami Erel said, "I am confident that Mr. Gabbay, with his excellent understanding of the telecommunications market and leadership, is the right man at the right time to lead Cellcom Israel to execute its restructuring plan and take the company back to profitability. I want to thank Nir Sztern for his years of service to the company. I wish him every success in his future endeavors."

Cellcom's share price is currently up 2.1% on the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange.

Published by Globes, Israel business news - en.globes.co.il - on January 5, 2020

Avi Gabbay Photo: Knesset spokesman
Avi Gabbay Photo: Knesset spokesman
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