TeliaSonera appoints ex-Vodacom chief as president and CEO

Johan Dennelind, incoming CEO at TeliaSonera

Johan Dennelind, incoming CEO at TeliaSonera

European mobile operator group TeliaSonera has announced the appointment of CEO of South African operator Vodacom International Johan Dennelind as its next president and CEO.

Dennelind fills the position vacated by Lars Nyberg, who stepped down from his role in February this year amid a corruption scandal surrounding the firm’s operations in Uzbekistan.

Acting CEO Per-Arne Blomquist will remain in that role until September 1 before returning to his previous role as executive vice president and CFO. This will be Dennelind’s official start date, although he will be “available for the company” from July 1, 2013, TeliaSonera said.

Dennelind has almost 20 years’ of experience in the telecommunication industry. During his time at Vodacom, and before that at Norwegian operator group Telenor, he has “proven that he can successfully lead organisations in significant change processes within an international environment,” according to TeliaSonera chairman Marie Ehrling.

“With Per-Arne Blomquist now returning to his role… we are securing continuity in the business whilst through Johan Dennelind also providing a fresh start,” she added.

The end of Nyberg’s tenure was marred by corruption allegations involving operations in Uzbekistan. Law firm Mannheimer Swartling was assigned to make an assessment of the allegations and published a review that did not find that TeliaSonera had been involved in bribery or money laundering. The law firm did, however, criticise TeliaSonera for failing to conduct a sufficiently in depth analysis into the identity of the local partner in Uzbekistan before investing.

Head of group communications Cecilia Edström has also announced that she will leave her position during the summer of 2013. She has held the role since May 2008.

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