CEO of Spain's Telefonica stepping down after 16 years

Staff Writer
Columbus CEO

MADRID (AP) — Spanish telecommunications company Telefonica says its longtime chief executive will step down after 16 years on the job but plans to remain on the company's board.

Telefonica SA says in a statement that Cesar Alierta is proposing Telefonica Chief Operating Officer Jose Maria Alvarez-Pallete as his replacement.

Alvarez-Pallete has worked directly under Alierta since 2012 in a process grooming him for the top job.

The company says Alierta considers Alvarez-Pallete the executive "most prepared to successfully meet the challenges of the digital revolution."

Telefonica is Spain's largest telecommunications company and has extensive operations throughout Latin America and in Germany.

Telefonica's board will meet April 8 to consider naming Alvarez-Pallete to the post. The company did not specify when Alierta would officially step down.