Scandal-hit TeliaSonera brings in new head of investor relations

Feb 12, 2013
<p>Telecoms firm appoints Jesper Wilgodt to lead IR following president and CEO&rsquo;s resignation</p>

Jesper Wilgodt is to lead TeliaSonera’s investor relations program, a move that comes less than two weeks after Lars Nyberg, former president and chief executive, resigned from the company.

Nyberg announced his intention to step down on February 1, following the report of an investigation into the company’s 2007 deal to enter the Uzbek mobile phone market. Former chief financial officer Per-Arne Blomquist is currently serving as acting CEO for the firm, while Christian Luiga sits in as acting CFO.

TeliaSonera – which is almost 40 percent owned by the Swedish government – is in the process of revamping its management, which will see also chairman Anders Narvinger step down on April 3.

Last year, Swedish prosecutors opened an investigation into TeliaSonera’s $30 mn purchase of an Uzbek phone license, asking whether the company knew – or should have known – that the money would go to the family of Uzbek President Islam Karimov. While the report by law firm Mannheimer Swartling did not find evidence to support the allegations, it criticized TeliaSonera for failing to follow its own regulations.

Announcing his resignation in a company statement, Nyberg said he was greatly relieved ‘Mannheimer Swartling has not found anything to support the allegations that TeliaSonera committed bribery or participated in money laundering.’

Nyberg added that he had been informed of ‘significant changes’ to be made to the company’s board once results of the investigation were published. ‘In order to continue as chief executive I need a functioning board and its explicit support,’ he explained. ‘I was informed that as a result of the pending changes to the board, [the board members] were not prepared to express that support.’

In the latest move to be announced at the company, Wilgodt, an IR consultant currently at Springtime, will take up his position as head of investor relations on March 4, succeeding Andreas Ekström.

Blomquist welcomed the new recruit in a company press release: ‘Jesper Wilgodt has significant experience from the financial market and he also knows TeliaSonera well as he has been working as a telecoms analyst.’

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