Thorsten Dirks is to leave his post as CEO of Telefónica Germany six months ahead of schedule.

The executive, who has led the company since October 2014 following its merger with E-Plus, will leave at the end of March rather than the end of September 2017.

Dirks requested to leave early in order “to turn to new challenges in line with his personal career plans,” according to a Telefónica statement.

The Spain-based operator said it would “deal with the matter of the succession immediately and make an announcement in due course”.

Telefónica said Dirks leaves having overseen “positive developments,” “largely completed” the integration of E-Plus and developed “a credible mid-term vision and detailed plans” for the company’s digital transformation.

Revenues at the opco fell 4.5 percent to €5.6 billion in the nine months to September as it registered falls across both its fixed and mobile offerings.

Its customer base is growing however, rising by around 900,000 over the same period thanks to an increase in VDSL and M2M subscribers.

[Read more: Telefónica Germany asks Nokia to manage its mobile, fixed networks]

Dirks said: “It has been a privilege to lead Telefónica Germany throughout the merger. We have laid out the foundation for a very successful future for the company.”

Eva Castillo, Chairperson of the Supervisory Board of Telefónica Germany, commented: “On behalf of the supervisory board I would like to take the opportunity at this stage to thank Thorsten Dirks for the exceptional collaboration and successful development of the company.”

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