Haas, 44, a lawyer who has been with the company since 1998 and is chief operating officer is under orders to lead the telecoms company in close cooperation with finance chief Rachel Empey.
Haas was appointed to the executive board and since 2012 he was a member of the board of directors of Telefónica Deutschland Holding in 2009, where he most recently steered the company strategy.
The successful acquisition of E-Plus group was one of his moves as was the acquisition and integration of HanseNet, the LTE spectrum auction and Telefónica Deutschland´s successful IPO.
He also negotiated the commercially important strategic partnerships with Deutsche Telekom, Versatel and most recently Drillischamong others.
Markus Haas started his career in the legal affairs and regulatory division at Telefónica in Germany in 1998 -at that time Viag Interkom -and subsequently worked as Executive Assistant of the CFO.
Afterwards, he steered as Vice President the Corporate & Legal Affairs department with commercial responsibility for the roaming-and wholesale network-business.
Telefonica, which is controlled by Spain’s Telefonica, said Haas would start his new role on 1 January with a three-year contract.
Dirks will be supporting the new leadership during the first three months of 2017. Dirks, who has been at the helm since October 2014, said at the end of November that he was leaving to pursue new challenges.