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Christoph Vilanek,
Chief Executive Officer (CEO)

“We have repositioned freenet.”

Our company is undergoing something of a paradigm shift. After spending roughly a decade acting purely as a sales machine in the mobile communications sector, our focus has now shifted to providing sustainable customer lifetime value. We want to manage our customer base as effectively as possible, and that also means controlling customer profitability in an integrated way across the entire life cycle.

With this in mind, we repositioned our organisation and processes during the past financial year, creating four areas of responsibility on our Executive Board to simplify our operating model. The department “Purchasing and Products” creates products for our internal “Department Store”, “Business Management” combines these into a product portfolio geared towards our customers’ individual requirements, the “Customer Interaction” team sells them, and “Technology and Processes” provides the IT framework for data-driven corporate governance and management-relevant key figures.

This also involved a variety of smaller and larger initiatives during the 2022 financial year. For example, we:
  • once again stepped up the digitalisation of our bricks-and-mortar sales channels by directly communicating, automating, standardising and streamlining processes,
  • continued to expand the subscription-based business that generates most of our stable, crisis-resistant revenue and margins, including that of our GRAVIS subsidiary, and
  • outsourced the design of some of our accessories and ranges, particularly in our shops, to external partners.
bubble vilanek

We also launched the “Retail 2025” project to ensure we can get even closer to our customers, particularly in terms of local presence. The main questions this project seeks to answer are: What do we need to be able to do by 2025 and where do we need to place ourselves to make sure we are a local go-to provider of all things related to digitalisation? How can we then solve our customers’ problems, or at least provide a major part of the solution? We need to do all this while ensuring we are located within our customers’ “15-minute community”, either on foot in the city or by car in rural areas. And we need to adjust the opening hours of our shops to meet specific local needs. We want to deliberately experiment a little in this area and have included around 10 percent of our locations in the initiative. What’s more, we are also striking out in a new direction in a few key business areas such as freenet Energy, where we are currently focusing on providing advice on photovoltaics and infrared heating.

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