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Cellcom Falls After Naming Sztern to Replace Shapira as CEO

Oct. 26 (Bloomberg) -- Cellcom Israel Ltd. declined after Chief Executive Officer Amos Shapira resigned today after leading the company for six years. Analyst Ori Licht called the move a “real earthquake” for the company.

Shapira will be replaced by Nir Sztern, who was CEO of Cellcom’s Netvision Ltd. Internet unit, the country’s largest mobile-phone company said in a PR Newswire statement.

Shares fell 1.9 percent to 78.49 shekels at 4:26 p.m., the lowest close since Oct. 16.

Shapira is stepping down at a time when the government is introducing more price regulation and boosting competition in the wireless market, moves that have sent the TA-Com index, which comprises the country’s telecommunications companies, tumbling 24 percent in the past six months. The benchmark TA-25 index has fallen 14 percent in that period.

“Shapira was a dominating, controlling force in the company and other personnel changes wouldn’t be unexpected,” said Licht, an analyst at the Tel Aviv-based I.B.I.-Israel Brokerage Investment.

To contact the reporter on this story: Gwen Ackerman in Jerusalem at gackerman@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Claudia Maedler at cmaedler@bloomberg.net

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