Beeline CEO quits - Mobile World Live

Beeline CEO quits

06 SEP 2016

VimpelCom accepted the resignation of Mikhail Slobodin, head of its Russian unit, amid a corruption probe at his previous employer.

Recent hire Kjell Johnsen has been slotted into the hot seat of the operator.

In a statement, VimpelCom said Slobodin (pictured) departed after he was linked by the Russian authorities to an investigation at this former employer, electrical utility T Plus.

Slobodin, who spent three years at the helm of Beeline, is replaced by Johnsen, head of major markets at VimpelCom, with immediate effect.

Johnsen only joined the group last month, to take charge of its Russian and Italian units. He was previously head of Telenor Europe.

Russia’s Investigative Committee, the country’s main federal investigatory authority, detained two executives from KES Holding, a predecessor to T Plus, over suspicious payments of more than RUB800 million ($12 million), said Bloomberg.

It is also seeking Slobodin, who used to head the utility and is still on its board of directors. He is reportedly on a business trip outside Russia.

Separately, VimpelCom was the subject of a corruption allegation involving the US and Dutch authorities in Uzbekistan over allegations it bribed officials to receive spectrum and other benefits.

The allegations led to at least one resignation and a number of suspensions at Telenor, a VimpelCom shareholder.

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Richard Handford

Richard is the editor of Mobile World Live’s money channel and a contributor to the daily news service. He is an experienced technology and business journalist who previously worked as a freelancer for many publications over the last decade including...

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