Swedish telco Telia has announced a shakeup of its executive team, following the announced future appointment of Allison Kirkby as president and CEO.
Stein-Erik Vellan, senior vice president and current CEO of Telia Finland will move to the same role for Norway on December 4 with current boss Abraham Foss leaving his position. The company’s executive vice president, group general counsel and head of corporate affairs Jonas Bengtsson will head up Finland while Telia searches for a permanent CEO.
Heli Partanen, currently head of consumer business in Finland, will become acting Vice CEO with full operational responsibility and will lead the day-to-day business in Finland.
Vellan joined Telia in January 2017 and said: “I have really enjoyed the last three years in Finland. We’ve gone through a strong transformational phase with acquisitions in the IT sector to build the best ICT partner for our enterprise customers, starting the Liiga cooperation and focusing on the growing esports scene.
“We’re also on our way to becoming a media company, and thanks to these new initiatives and partnerships, we have secured an excellent starting point for the future for Telia Finland.”
Christian Luiga, acting president and CEO of Telia said: “Stein-Erik is an appreciated and strong leader and has headed our Finnish operations in an excellent way. I’m grateful for his contribution to secure our position of being more relevant to our Finnish customers and I’m confident that he will make Telia Norway even more competitive over the coming years.”
Luiga continued: “Abraham has successfully transformed Telia Norway from being mobile only to a complete and relevant service provider with the best networks. During his tenure Telia has not only integrated the acquisition of Tele2’s Norwegian business and acquired and integrated Phonero and Get/TDC, but has doubled its service revenues and increased EBITDA 2.5 times to NOK 5.5 billion. It has been an honor to work with Abraham over these years and I thank him for his strong contribution ensuring Telia Norway has a solid business foundation. I wish him all the best in his future endeavours.”
Foss said: “I have had an incredibly exciting time at Telia and I am proud of what my team and all our employees have achieved. Since I took on the job in 2015, we have come a long way in building the new Telia Norway, and our success has been recognized by the market. The process to build a full-fledged provider within both mobile and fixed networks as well as entertainment, is well underway.
“Not least, we are set to build a national 5G network by 2023. As Telia is now moving into a new phase, it was natural to review my options and the conclusion I ended up with was that I am going to look for new challenges outside of the company,” says Abraham Foss.
The changeup comes just as the EU has given conditional approval to Telia’s proposed SEK9.2 billion (€890 million) takeover of Bonnier Broadcasting.
The deal, initially announced in July 2018, had been the subject of an antitrust investigation from the EU since May.