Europe's Toughest Job

Ron Sommer is a man in a hurry. Even before his first official day as CEO of Deutsche Telekom, Sommer was locked in negotiations in Paris for a deal crucial to the success of Europe's largest telecommunications company. Skipping dinner at Maxim's, he worked far into the night with France Telecom CEO Marcel Roulet and Sprint Corp. CEO William T. Esrey hammering out details of the Europeans' plan to take a 20% stake in Sprint and launch a new global service for corporate customers. The next day, May 16, he reported for work at Telekom's Bonn headquarters late and haggard. But he had pushed the complex venture one step closer to completion.

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