CEO quits TeliaSonera in wake of Uzbekistan review

4 Feb 2013

Lars Nyberg has decided to resign as president and CEO of TeliaSonera, following criticism of the company’s conduct regarding its Uzbekistan operations published in a review by a law firm, although no evidence was found to suggest the group acted illegally. Nyberg’s statement explained: ‘I am greatly relieved that Mannheimer Swartling has not found anything to support the allegations that TeliaSonera committed bribery or participated in money laundering… At the same time, the Mannheimer Swartling review criticises TeliaSonera, not least that we did not conduct a sufficiently in depth analysis into the identity of our local partner in Uzbekistan before we invested in the country or into how this partner came to own the assets that were later obtained by TeliaSonera. Even if this transaction was legal, we should not have gone ahead without learning more about the identity of our counterparty. This is something I regret. When the board received the Mannheimer Swartling report, I was informed that there would be significant changes to the composition of the board. In order to continue as chief executive I need a functioning board and their explicit support. I was informed that as a result of the pending changes to the board they were not prepared to express that support. At that point I made up my mind that I would leave my position as chief executive and therefore I am resigning.’ Chief financial officer Per-Arne Blomquist has been appointed acting president and CEO.

Sweden, Uzbekistan, Telia Company, Ucell (Coscom)