Amsterdam-based telecom operator VEON announced fresh changes to the top management — indicating a fresh round of job cut.
The strategy of VEON, one of the top 10 telecom operators in the world, is to simplify the group’s operating model – focusing on emerging telecom markets. VEON has presence in Pakistan and Bangladesh.
VEON has named Kjell Morten Johnsen as group chief operating officer, a role he had held on an interim basis since March 2018. Kjell Morten Johnsen was previous VEON’s head of Major Markets, having joined in 2016 from his position as head of Telenor Europe.
All VEON’s operating companies will report to the group COO to support VEON’s increased focus on emerging markets.
Who’s leaving VEON?
Peter Chernyshov, CEO of Kyivstar in Ukraine
Christopher Schlaeffer, chief commercial and digital officer, VEON
Mark MacGann, chief corporate & public affairs officer, VEON
Aamir Hafeez Ibrahim, previously head of Emerging Markets, will remain as chief executive officer of Jazz in Pakistan.
Peter Chernyshov, previously head of Eurasia and chief executive officer of Kyivstar in Ukraine, has decided to leave VEON Group.
Aleksandr Komarov, chief executive officer of Beeline Kazakhstan, will additionally take up the role of Kyivstar CEO job on an interim basis.
Christopher Schlaeffer, group chief commercial and digital officer, will leave VEON later this year. Christopher joined at the start of 2016 to lead a newly created Digital function as well as the Group’s commercial teams. VEON will be hiring a new person in place of Christopher Schlaeffer.
Mark MacGann, group chief corporate & public affairs officer, will also leave VEON after joining the global telecom operator in early 2016. VEON will not be looking for a replacement for Mark MacGann as the company is planning to integrate some functions.
“We are creating a new, more simple structure that will help our operating companies deliver the best services to customers and realise even greater value for shareholders,” said Ursula Burns, executive chairman of VEON.
The Amsterdam-based company with roots in Russia said country managers in 11 markets where it operates will now report directly to its corporate headquarters. It will cut regional operating structures in Eastern Europe and Pakistan.
Veon has cut its global workforce over the last three years by around one-third to 40,000 employees at the end of 2017 under ex-CEO Jean-Yves Charlier.
Industry analysts are believing that there will be more rounds of job cut under Kjell Morten Johnsen, the new COO and chairwoman and CEO Ursula Burns.
Ursula Burns has said Veon’s four immediate priorities are to increase its focus on emerging markets, control costs, improve its balance sheet and supporting its current dividend.
Veon (earlier known as VimpelCom) faced a bribery scandal in Uzbekistan that was settled with Dutch and American authorities in 2016 for $795 million.
Veon in July said it would sell its stake in Italian mobile network Wind Tre for 2.45 billion euros in an exit from Western Europe to pare debt and to take full ownership of its Pakistan and Bangladesh businesses.