Gerd Tenzer

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Gerd Tenzer (born August 4, 1943 in Baden-Baden ) is a German manager and former association official. He was a board member and deputy chairman of the board of Deutsche Telekom AG .


Tenzer studied communications engineering at the Rheinisch-Westfälisch Technische Hochschule Aachen and from 1968 worked at the AEG-Telefunken research institute in Ulm . In 1970 he switched to the Deutsche Bundespost . In 1980 he became head of the telecommunications policy department in the Federal Post Office . Tenzer was a member of the board of directors of Deutsche Bundespost Telekom from 1990 to 1994 and from January 1995 to the board of Deutsche Telekom AG. There he was responsible for the group-wide coordination of production and technology, broadband cable, innovation management, purchasing and environmental protection.

At that time, Tenzer was considered a possible successor to the post of CEO, after Helmut Ricke announced his retirement from management in December 1994. Tenzer emphasized that he was more of a "man from the second row". Ultimately, however, he was unable to prevail against the then Sony manager Ron Sommer , a process that is said to have strained the relationship between the two. In addition, because of his SPD party membership in the Kohl government , Tenzer was considered unenforceable.

On November 24, 2000, he was elected chairman of the Association of Electrical, Electronic and Information Technologies (VDE) in Frankfurt am Main for two years .

In the spring of 2001, Sommer carried out a reorganization of the board in which Tenzer lost responsibility for the fixed line business. From this point in time at the latest, the relationship between Tenzer and Sommer was considered to be permanently disturbed.

After Sommer came under increasing criticism as a result of the stock market crisis in the early 2000s and finally resigned on July 16, 2002, Tenzer moved to the top of the board as a deputy alongside interim boss Helmut Sihler . Reservations on the part of his fellow board members earned him the reputation of a "royal killer" who was determined to inherit the summer. Resistance was also evident in the supervisory board and on the capital markets. After the federal government brought up Tenzer as a possible summer successor and thus rekindled the public discussion about the vacant successor, the price of the T-share fell by almost 14% and recorded the highest daily loss to date.

On November 14, 2002, the Supervisory Board elected Kai-Uwe Ricke , who had previously been responsible for the T-Mobile and T-Online subsidiaries on the Management Board , as the new Chairman of the Management Board and successor to Helmut Sihler. Immediately after Rickes was appointed CEO, he announced a restructuring and downsizing of the board. When it became clear that Tenzer would no longer play a role in Rickes' further planning, he retired from the Telekom Board of Management in November 2002. Tenzer was still associated with the company as a special representative for telecommunications and competition policy.


Tenzer had a reputation for knowing technical processes down to the smallest detail, which earned him the nickname “master of the networks”. Siemens CEO Heinrich von Pierer described him as “the technological conscience of Telekom” and “tough negotiating partner ”.

His key achievements include the rebuilding of a high-performance telecommunications infrastructure in the new federal states, the introduction of ISDN , the digitization of the telephone network, the expansion of DSL access, the restructuring and promotion of the sale of the cable TV business and the reorganization of the authorities to a stock corporation, among other things, by reducing the number of telecommunications exchanges from more than 100 to 13.


Gerd Tenzer is married and has a daughter and a son.

Since 1963 he has been a member of the Catholic student association KDStV Franconia Aachen .


In 1986 Tenzer received the Eisenhower Exchange grant. In 1992, a US trade journal for fiber optic expansion in the new federal states named him "Fiberman of the Year". In 2000, Tenzer was named Eco Manager of the Year by the environmental foundation WWF Germany . The reason for the award was that he achieved a doubling of the percentage of recycling in telecom products. For his commitment to the introduction of DSL in Germany, Tenzer received the IEC Fellow Award in 2002 from the International Engineering Consortium. In 2004 he was awarded the Federal Cross of Merit on ribbon by the then Prime Minister of North Rhine-Westphalia, Wolfgang Clement, on behalf of Federal President Johannes Rau.

Supervisory and advisory board mandates

Member of the NRW Future Council; Supervisory board in the following Telekom subsidiaries: T-Mobile (also chairman of the management board for 3 months), T-Systems, T-Venture (chairman) and DeTeLine; ECI Telecom, Israeli network infrastructure provider; SES / Astra, international satellite operator consortium and Transmode, Swedish provider of network solutions.

Web links

Individual evidence

  1. a b c Portrait of Gerd Tenzer: Nobody knows Telekom better than he does , Kölner Stadtanzeiger, July 14, 2002
  2. a b Gerd Tenzer: The man from the second row , Der Spiegel, July 13, 2002
  3. a b c d Gerd Tenzer - The technology freak , Hamburger Abendblatt, July 15, 2002
  4. Telekom board member Gerd Tenzer new VDE chairman ,, November 30, 2000
  5. a b c Gerd Tenzer: The Lord of the Networks ,, November 25, 2002
  6. Summer Theater: Telekom board apparently against Tenzer , Der Spiegel, July 15, 2002
  7. ^ Deutsche Telekom: No space for Tenzer , Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, November 28, 2002
  8. Ricke before Hercules tasks , Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, November 14, 2002
  9. ^ Backing chairs on the Telekom board , Heise-Online, November 28, 2002
  10. Ex-Telekom-Vice criticizes slow fiber optic network expansion ,, May 8, 2011
  11. Telekom board member Gerd Tenzer is considered a "technology freak" , Kölner Stadtanzeiger, July 16, 2002