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Head of Spain's Telefonica steps down after 16 years

Telefonica chairman and CEO Cesar Alierta, pictured on February 25, 2015, will remain on the company's boardSpanish telecoms giant Telefonica on Tuesday announced its chief executive Cesar Alierta, who oversaw its expansion into one of the world’s largest telephone companies, will step down after nearly 16 years at the helm. Alierta, 70, proposed the company’s chief operating officer Jose Maria Alvarez-Pallete, 52, as his replacement, Telefonica said in a statement. The former financial analyst took over as chairman of Telefonica in 2000 having previously overseen the transformation of Spain’s state tobacco company Tabacalera SA, now a subsidiary of Imperial Tobacco, into a private company.

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