Bezeq CEO Stella Handler Stepping Down in Face of Police Investigation Linked to Netanyahu

Alleged deal between Bezeq owner and Netanyahu to trade friendly media coverage from a news site owned by him for financial benefits for telecom giant

Bezeq CEO Stella Handler appears in court, February 21, 2018.
Ofer Vaknin

Bezeq CEO Stella Handler, who is at the center of a police investigation, said Monday she would resign as of July 1.

 “After completing five years on the job and ahead of a change in ownership, and in light of the investigations and circumstances, I have decided to step down,” Handler said. “It is the right thing to do for me personally and for Bezeq.”

Handler has been absent from the CEO suite for months, temporarily replaced by Yakov Paz while police pursue leads in Case 4000, which revolves around an alleged deal between Bezeq controlling shareholder Shaul Elovitch and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to trade friendly media coverage from Bezeq’s Walla news site for financial benefits.

Separately, the Israel Securities Authority had recommended in November that Handler and others be charged with securities violations. Elovitch is in the process of selling control of Bezeq, whose shares ended down 1.3% at 5.03 shekels ($1.45).