Nordic operator group TeliaSonera has appointed former CEO of Vodacom Johan Dennelind (pictured) as its new president and CEO, following the departure of his predecessor Lars Nyberg in February.
Nyberg stepped down after the board refused to give him support following an external review of the Nordic operator group’s investments in Uzbekistan.
As well as getting the company back on track after the controversy surrounding Uzbekistan, Dennelind will want to improve the group’s financial results. In April, the company said it was targeting costs to protect its margins as it reported a fall in Q1 sales and net income.
Acting chief executive Per-Arne Blomquist said at the time that “traditional business models are being challenged by new customer behaviour” and that the “competitive situation remains demanding in many markets and puts pressure on overall revenue streams”.
Dennelind — who will take up his new post on 1 September, according to the Financial Times — previously headed South Africa-based Vodacom International. He also spent more than a decade at fellow Nordic operator group Telenor and started his career with Swedish operator Telia, which merged with Finland’s Sonera in 2002 to create TeliaSonera.
The Uzbekistan investigation initially examined TeliaSonera’s investment in a 3G licence, radio frequencies and number blocks in the country in 2007. It was later expanded to include more recent investments in connection with Uzbekistan.
TeliaSonera received “serious criticism” from Swedish law firm Mannheimer Swartling for shortcomings in the investment process and for not making a sufficient effort to investigate its local partner. In addition, internal controls weren’t strong enough to ensure TeliaSonera did not risk becoming involved in any unethical business.
Following the departure of Nyberg, the company proposed a shake-up of its board of directors with two candidates proposed for re-election and the six remaining seats to be occupied by new appointees.