* TDC picks head of TDC Operations to be new CEO
* Carsten Dilling succeeds Henrik Poulsen
* Chairman says strategy unchanged (Adds details, chairman quotes)
COPENHAGEN, July 2 (Reuters) - Danish telecoms firm TDC has promoted Carsten Dilling to be chief executive and signalled it will stick with a strategy focused on its home Nordic markets, where its scale has helped it to cope with stiff competition.
Dilling, 50, was head of TDC Operations and takes the helm with immediate effect, succeeding Henrik Poulsen whose resignation was announced in April to become head of Denmark’s state-owned DONG Energy.
TDC, Denmark’s former national telecom and still its biggest operator, had said at the time that it was looking internally and externally for a new CEO.
“This represents stability because he will continue on the path that Henrik (Poulsen) has followed in recent years,” TDC chairman of the board Vagn Sorensen told Reuters.
Unlike its larger Nordic peers, Swedish-Finnish TeliaSonera and Norway’s Telenor, TDC’s strategy has been to focus solely on its domestic and Nordic home markets and not to expand internationally.
Its sale in 2010 of its Swiss unit Sunrise marked the final reversal of its earlier broader international ambitions.
“We have absolutely no plans to go geographically broader than we are today,” Sorensen said. “Therefore we have ambitions to be even stronger on the markets we are in. But it is the Nordic region that we will stick to.”
Poulsen will continue as advisor to Dilling until sometime in late August, TDC said in a statement.
Dilling joined the corporate management team in 2007,
In February this year, TDC’s main owners, a consortium of five private equity investment firms sold $1 billion worth of stock and relinquished majority control, reducing their stake to 43.3 percent.
It was the second sale of TDC stock by the consortium of Apax Partners, the Blackstone Group LP, Kohlberg Kravis Roberts, Permira Advisers and Providence Equity Partners, which had bought nearly 89 percent of the company in autumn 2005 and sold 28.8 percent of the stock in one of the biggest share offerings of 2010.
At 1020 GMT, TDC shares were down 0.6 percent at 40.57 Danish crowns, slightly underperforming the STOXX Europe 600 telecoms index. (Reporting by Teis Jensen; Writing by John Acher; Editing by Mark Potter)