KPN poached Proximus chief Dominique Leroy (pictured) as the replacement for outgoing CEO Maximo Ibarra, effective from 1 December.

In a statement, the Belgian operator’s board noted Leroy decided to make the move despite an offer to renew her tenure at Proximus, where she has been CEO since 2014. Management thanked Leroy for “her leadership and efforts in very challenging market conditions”, highlighting her success in delivering “positive results for the last four years”.

Proximus added it had immediately begun seeking a successor.

Ibarra is set to leave his role as KPN chairman and CEO at the end of this month. Current COO Joost Farwerck will take over on a temporary basis until Leroy comes on board.

In a statement by the Netherlands-based operator, Leroy said a key goal was to help the company “execute on the existing strategy and help KPN to become a premier digital services and communication provider”.

Duco Sickinghe, chairman of KPN’s supervisory board, said Leroy is a “dynamic, customer-focused and engaging leader with a wealth of experience in the telecommunications industry”.

She will be tasked with advancing a three-year strategy to deliver sustainable growth in the medium term, he added.