Ralf Pichler takes the helm at German consultancy Detecon

10 September 2019 Consultancy.eu 4 min. read
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Detecon, a consulting subdiary of German telecom giant Deutsche Telekom, has found a new chief executive officer following the departure of former boss Heinrich Arnold six months ago. 

Appointed to lead the €215 million consulting firm is the 47-year-old Ralf Pichler, who joined Detecon in August following a brief spell at Boston Consulting Group (BCG), where he was a partner in the firm’s Munich office. Pichler was a member of BCG's Technology, Media and Telecommunications (TMT) practice and a leader in its Telecommunications service line. 

Adel Al-Saleh, who leads T-Systems, the parent division of Detecon, said that he is delighted with the hiring of Pichler, describing him as an “experienced strategic consultant with a proven track record.” He added, “Ralf ideally combines expertise in three core areas for Detecon: Strong expertise in consulting for digital transformation, an outstanding background in the telecommunications industry, and broad experience in international markets.”

During his career spanning two decades of experience, Pichler held leadership roles in the telecom consulting industries. Prior to BCG, he spent eight years with Ericsson in various international management roles with positions in Germany, Sweden, Turkey and Iran, including CEO of Ericsson Turkey & Iran, as well as Global Head of Strategy and Portfolio for Ericsson's Global Services business.Ralf Pichler, CEO at Detecon InternationalBefore that, Pichler worked as a consultant at PwC Consulting, IBM Global Services (Pichler joined IBM as part of its acquisition of PwC Consulting in 2002) and Capgemini Consulting (nowadays Capgemini Invent). At all three consultancies, he specialised in telecom projects, and worked on topics including growth & innovation, cost reduction, business process management and digital transformation. Pichler delivered projects in Germany and across Central & Eastern Europe.

A lifetime opportunity

“Sometimes there are certain opportunities in life that you can't let go of if you follow your passion. Sometimes you simply have to say yes because it's just the perfect match. In line with my passion and ambition to advance digitisation, this step is a great opportunity for me personally. This is why I decided to join Detecon,” commented Pichler. “I am proud to lead a consulting company like Detecon.”

In the role, the new chief executive, who succeeds Heinrich Arnold who led the firm for three years, has been tasked with continuing Detecon’s growth course. While Detecon was initially established as an in-house consultancy for Deutsche Telekom, the consultancy now generates more revenue externally. With its €215 million turnover, the firm is Germany’s third largest consulting firm from home soil.

Key pillars of the growth strategy are continuing its diversification from a telecom consultancy to a broader digital consultancy (specialised in telecom-related topics such as (Industrial) Internet of Things and 5G) and extending its service portfolio to provide clients with a more integral offering. To this end, Detecon recently beefed up its collaboration with T-Systems’ Digital wing, in a bid to provide a deeper technology consulting proposition while ensuring better alignment with the solutions and managed services space. 

Amid growing digitisation of society and economy, and the increasing reliance on telecommunications as a driver for technology transformation and innovation, Pichler is confidant Detecon is well positioned to tap into growth opportunities. Telecom networks are for instance integral to services in among others the banking and retail sectors, and in industry, companies are eagerly anticipating the roll out of 5G in order to accelerate their Industry 4.0 ambitions. 

“Detecon has 40 years of expertise in the telecommunications industry and beyond and, like no other consultancy, stands for digitisation and business model development in technology-driven issues.”