Thomson Financial News

FACTBOX-Five facts about new Vimpelcom CEO Nemsic

03.02.09, 06:13 AM EST

March 2 (Reuters) - Telekom Austria Chief Executive Boris Nemsic will become the new CEO of Vimpelcom , Russia's No. 2 mobile carrier, on April 2, Telekom Austria said on Monday.

Following are five facts on Nemsic.

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* Nemsic took over Telekom Austria's helm in 2006 after heading the state-controlled group's mobile phone business since 2000. He presided over the group's mobile expansion in former Yugoslavia, Bulgaria and, most recently, Belarus. While markets approved the emerging markets strategy to offset a declining home market, some analysts said Nemsic had overpaid for the $1.4 billion acquisition of Belarusian operator MDC. MDC is competing with Vimpelcom in Belarus.

* The main problem Nemsic faced at Telekom Austria was a legacy fixed-line workforce with civil servant status that is virtually impossible to sack. He dealt with this problem last year by sending as many as 1,250 staff home at full pay, setting aside a whopping one-off charge of 630 million euros ($793 million) to cover their salaries until retirement.

* Nemsic' surprise departure was not preceded by a public debate about his Telekom Austria leadership performance and analysts said they view it as a career move. 'Vimpelcom is much bigger than Telekom Austria, with more growth, and it's mobile-only, all of which in our view should appeal to Boris Nemsic,' said J.P.Morgan analysts in a note to clients.

* Nemsic, born in 1957, is a Bosnian Croat who graduated as an electrical engineer in Sarajevo. He moved to Vienna in 1984 and later became an Austrian citizen. He joined Telekom Austria as a network engineer in 1997 and quickly rose after launching mobile operator Vipnet in Croatia, Telekom Austria's first big move abroad.

* Nemsic is married with two teenage children and was an Austrian handball champion as goalkeeper for UHC Stockerau. He also plays basketball.

($1=.7940 Euro)

(Reporting by Boris Groendahl; editing by Simon Jessop) Keywords: TELEKOMAUSTRIA/VIMPELCOM

(boris.groendahl@reuters.com; +43 1 53112-258; Reuters Messaging: boris.groendahl.reuters.com@reuters.net)

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