TeliaSonera business head loses role over Uzbekistan scandal
Swedish operator group TeliaSonera’s president of business area mobility services Tero Kivisaari has agreed to leave his role due to his involvement in a corruption scandal affecting the carrier’s operations in Uzbekistan. Sverker Hannervall has been appointed acting president of business area mobility services, although Kivisaari will not exit the company, instead taking on other duties in the group.
Late last year, TeliaSonera attracted much criticism over allegations of corruption involving its operations in Uzbekistan.
Although a review by law firm Mannheimer Swartling did not find that TeliaSonera had been involved in bribery or money laundering, the law firm criticised TeliaSonera for failing to conduct a sufficiently in depth analysis into the identity of the local partner in Uzbekistan before investing.
The review led to former CEO Lars Nyberg leaving the firm and Kivisaari appears to be leaving due to similar reasons.
President and CEO of TeliaSonera Johan Dennelind, who replaced Nyberg in June said: “Tero Kivisaari’s role in TeliaSonera’s criticised investments in Uzbekistan, and the attention surrounding them, has made it impossible for him to act with the internal and external authority necessary for the president of the largest business area of TeliaSonera. We have therefore agreed that he will leave his position.
“The investments in Uzbekistan were carried out in a way not compliant with the business practices TeliaSonera wants to stand for. However, the shortcomings were, to a great extent, a consequence of inadequate procedures and controls. This was also made clear in the Mannheimer Swartling report. Strengthening our governance around these issues is now a key priority.”
Dennelind added that TeliaSonera is continuing to cooperate with the Swedish prosecutor in the ongoing preliminary investigation about the Uzbekistan investments, as it awaits the finalisation of the proceedings.
Hannervall will assume his new position with immediate effect and also remains in his current position as member of group management and head of business services, the operator said.