The CEO of Sweden-based telco, Telia, has abruptly announced his resignation and will leave the company next year.
Johan Dennelind (pictured), who has served as CEO of the SEK 83.56bn-revenue (€7.76bn) telco for almost six years, handed his resignation to the board of directors on Monday and will step down during next year.
Dennelind has a 12-month notice period and will continue as CEO "for the time being", claims Telia. The firm said it will immediately begin searching for a replacement.
"It is a true privilege to serve as president and CEO of Telia Company, one of Sweden's oldest and largest companies. During the last years I have, together with the board and my team, implemented a transformation and re-alignment of Telia into a company that is well-positioned and well-equipped for the future," Dennelind said in a statement.
"Telia Company is now entering a new phase with several opportunities for value-creation and with strong commitment from our more than 20,000 employees. And it is after careful considerations that I now have decided to leave Telia and take on new challenges. I will continue in my role to drive our current agenda forward with full focus and commitment for as long as the board wants."
Under Dennelind's stewardship, Telia exited several markets in central Asia to focus on northern Europe, after its investments in Uzbekistan were caught up in a wide-spread telecom corruption scandal.
More recently, Dennelind led the acquisition of Bonnier Broadcasting last year in a purchase price worth SEK 9.2bn.
In a LinkedIn post, Dennelind said resigning was a "difficult" and "emotional" decision.
"It is such a privilege to be the CEO of this company and I have truly loved it and have tried my very best to build a great company, make impact and make a difference. And I think we have," he writes.
Telia's chair of the board of directors, Marie Ehrling, highlighted Dennelind's bravery during his tensure as CEO.
"Johan has vigorously worked with the repositioning of Telia Company. The culture and strategy of the company have changed fundamentally and Telia is today a company with strong business focus that truly represents responsible business. Johan's strong and brave leadership has been crucial for this transformation. The Board and I regret that Johan has chosen to leave the company, but at the same time we respect his decision to take a new step in his career," she said.
"I also want to emphasise the very strong cooperation we have enjoyed during Johan's tenure as president and CEO. We have had several difficult and tough situations to address and the fact that Johan has always acted with strength and wisdom has been of great importance for the development of Telia. Johan has assured the Board that he will continue in his present role with full force as long as it is needed during his notice period. This secures continuity and focus on several important projects and processes in the company."
Alongside its core consumer business, the state-owned telco has built a SEK 5.80bn enterprise arm offering networking, mobility solutions, IoT and device management.
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