Outgoing Cellnex CEO Tobias Martinez will vacate the big chair on 3 June, and will be replaced by Marco Patuano effective the next day.

Andrew Wooden

April 28, 2023

3 Min Read

Outgoing Cellnex CEO Tobias Martinez will vacate the big chair on 3 June, and will be replaced by Marco Patuano (pictured top right) effective the next day.

Martinez helmed the tower company for eight years as it expanded into 12 markets across Europe, and resigned in January seemingly less keen on leading the firm through a more conservative period, as opposed to snaffling up half the world’s towers.

The newly crowned Patuano has been the chairman of Cellnex and comes with ‘extensive experience in the telecommunications sector and in-depth knowledge of the tower ecosystem in Europe’ we’re told.

That experience includes over 25 years at TIM as CCO, CFO and most recently CEO until tussles with shareholders ultimately resulted in his resignation and €6 million in his back pocket in 2016. He also has director positions at Autogrill, Atlantia, GSMA, Utenti Pubblicita Associati and WAC on his CV.

Meanwhile Óscar Fanjul and Dominique d’Hinnin are proposed to join the Cellnex board as independent directors. Fanjul is currently a Vice Chair of Ferrovial and a director of the Marsh & McLennan Companies, and has been vice chairman of Omega Capital, and D’Hinnin is Chair of the Board of Eutelsat.

“I would like to thank the Cellnex Board for its trust in proposing my nomination to be the next CEO,” said Patuano. “Cellnex is a great company with a bright future and, if appointed, I will be committed to the strategy announced in November 2022 which shows a clear path to value creation, organic growth and investment grade”.

Anne Bouverot, Chair of Cellnex added: “On behalf of the Board, I am delighted to welcome Marco as the new CEO of Cellnex following a thorough and comprehensive recruitment process. Marco is an experienced and respected leader with a deep understanding of the dynamics of the telecommunications sector and the European tower market. We are looking forward to supporting him as he takes on responsibility for delivering the next chapter of Cellnex.”

“I would also like to take the opportunity to thank Tobias for his exceptional leadership and the decisive role he has played in building Europe’s leading telecoms infrastructure provider. Marco and Tobias have committed to working together in the coming weeks to ensure a seamless transition after the General Meeting and the continued rapid delivery of the strategic priorities we announced in November last year, cantered on driving value enhancing and organic growth and strengthening the balance sheet to underpin an investment grade rating”.

It has been reported that Patuano was the preferred candidate of TCI Fund Management founder Christopher Hohn, a shareholder who hasn’t been shy getting stuck in with making his feelings known on the management and direction of Cellnex in the past – so whatever went on between the scenes it looks like he got his way.

Judging from the mention of ‘rapid delivery of the strategic priorities we announced in November’ and ‘organic growth’ in the announcement, the plan going forward with the new CEO at the wheel would seem to be confirmed as a more conservative period of consolidation following an absolute spending spree of tower acquisitions in the last few years.


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About the Author(s)

Andrew Wooden

Andrew joins Telecoms.com on the back of an extensive career in tech journalism and content strategy.

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