Liberty Global has announced the appointment of two senior executives to lead its newly-combined Swiss operations following the closing of its acquisition of Sunrise Communications.
Effective immediately, André Krause is Chief Executive Officer of the combined Sunrise UPC business. He joins Liberty Global’s executive team, reporting to CEO Mike Fries. Krause is currently the CEO of Sunrise and served as the mobile operator’s Chief Financial Officer (CFO) for eight years prior. He was critical in leading the transformation of Sunrise’s network, customer service, brand and company culture and instrumental in the successful IPO and listing of the company on the Swiss exchange in 2015.
Additionally, Severina Pascu will return to Switzerland to serve as Deputy CEO and Chief Operating Officer (COO), reporting to Krause. Pascu has been a long time member of the Liberty Global family, having served most recently as CFO and Deputy CEO of Virgin Media in the United Kingdom. Prior to that she was CEO of UPC Switzerland from September of 2018 to January of 2020, and has spent the last 10 years in leadership positions in Liberty Global’s Central and Eastern European operations. Pascu will lead the combined consumer and business organizations, operations and digital functions.
“This is an exciting time in Switzerland as we bring these two major brands together for the benefit of consumers, businesses and employees,” said Fries. “André is an outstanding executive with a proven track record of growth, innovation and value creation at Sunrise. He is uniquely qualified to lead the integration of these two businesses and deliver on our long-term strategic growth plans in the market. He will also be a great addition to my senior leadership team where his mobile experience will be particularly valuable, and he can benefit from our success in other fixed-mobile markets.”
“I am also thrilled to have Severina back in Switzerland,” Fries added. “She is a world class operator with deep experience in the Swiss market and clear understanding of what it takes to build a converged national champion. She and André are a “dream team” that will provide leadership, continuity and strategic clarity to Sunrise UPC at this critical juncture.”
“By combining UPC’s leading gigabit broadband network and the leading 5G mobile network of Sunrise, we are creating the best connectivity platform for Swiss consumers and businesses for the future,” said Krause. “With Liberty Global’s proven expertise for creating leading fixed-mobile champions across Europe we will set new standards in the Swiss market in the coming years. I am excited and honored to shape this next chapter of the combined Sunrise UPC business together with extraordinary people as one team.”
Pascu added, “I strongly believe that this combined Sunrise UPC business will make a difference in the Swiss market and will create significant benefits for consumers and businesses across Switzerland. Together with our employees we have a unique opportunity to build the future of Switzerland. I am very much looking forward to this new role and being part of this journey together with André, the leadership team and all our employees to become the national converged champion.”
Baptiest Coopmans, who has served as CEO of UPC Switzerland for the last 10 months, will return to a senior operating role at Liberty Global. Fries said: “Baptiest did a fantastic job in his short tenure at UPC. In a difficult year, he accelerated commercial momentum, simplified the operating structure and energized the team.”