(Recasts to add confirmation, background)
By Guillermo Parra-Bernal
SAO PAULO Oct 9 Telefónica Brasil SA
said on Sunday that Chief Executive Officer Amos Genish has
stepped down citing unspecified personal reasons, leading the
country's biggest wireless carrier to move faster with a planned
In a securities filing, Telefónica Brasil said Genish will
be replaced by executive Eduardo Navarro de Carvalho, currently
Chief Commercial Digital Officer at parent company Telefónica
SA. After leaving on Dec. 31, Genish will keep a board seat and
lead Telefónica Brasil's strategy committee, the filing said.
Reuters reported earlier in the day, citing two people with
knowledge of the matter, that Genish was going to step down. One
of them said the Israel-born executive, who expected to announce
his departure in November or December, was considering an offer
by Spain's Telefónica to join British mobile operator
The media office of Telefónica Brasil declined to comment
beyond what the regulatory filing stated. Efforts to reach out
to both Genish and Navarro for comment were unsuccessful.
According to one of the people, Navarro - who joined parent
company Telefónica in 1999 - will help Telefónica Brasil
capitalize on faster expansion of digital services as the
company moves away from a model based on offering voice and
Genish and executives at Telefónica Brasil will discuss his
departure at a conference call on Monday, the filing said.
After only 17 months into the job, Genish attained
bigger-than-expected cost savings stemming from Telefónica
Brasil's purchase of carrier GVT SA - which he founded in 1999.
Under his tenure, Telefónica Brasil grew at the expense of
rivals and became the nation's most profitable carrier in spite
of a recession not seen in more than eight decades.
Preferred shares in São Paulo-based Telefónica Brazil, which
owns the Vivo mobile phone brand, have gained 37 percent this
year, outperforming rivals TIM Participações SA and Oi SA -
which filed for creditor protection in June.
(Additional reporting by Ana Mano in São Paulo; Editing by
Alistair Bell and Diane Craft)