Telia’s CEO plans to step down in 2020

DUBAI: Telia Co chief executive officer Johan Dennelind has told the board of the Swedish telecom company that he plans to leave after six years at the helm.

Dennelind submitted his resignation letter in accordance with the 12-month notice period in his contract. The search for his successor would start immediately, the company said in a statement.

During his tenure since 2013, Dennelind has steered Stockholm-based Telia away from the complex holdings it had in Central Asia, some of which were dogged by corruption concerns. Instead, he favoured a Nordic expansion for the company, whose largest shareholder is Sweden’s government.

Stefan Gauffin, an analyst at DNB, said the broker believed that Dennelind’s mandate was primarily to turn Telia “into a more sustainable company” and that, with the exits from Eurasia and investments in the Nordic Region, it could argue that “this mission has been accomplished.”

Keen on adding media and content to Telia’s broadband, cable and mobile businesses, Dennelind oversaw a 9.2 billion-krona (US$960mil) bid for Bonnier AB’s television operations. The deal faces a European Union investigation with a Sept 19 deadline on whether it would reduce choice and increase prices for consumers. Bonnier operates TV channels and video-streaming services including Sweden’s TV4, MTV in Finland and C More. — Bloomberg

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