HomeInsightsTelia Sonera cuts Mobility Services head to deal with "increasing challenges"

    Telia Sonera cuts Mobility Services head to deal with “increasing challenges”


    Dahlström carries can for "sluggish" Mobility Services performance

    Telia Sonera has dispensed with the services of its head of mobility services, Håkan Dahlström, with the minimum of fuss. His replacement is Tero Kivisaari, who will add the role to his current position as President of Business area Eurasia.

    A curt press release from the operator carried the following quote form CEO Lars Nyberg.

    “Håkan Dahlström has contributed to the successful development of TeliaSonera’s business in the Nordic and Baltic region for many years. In order to develop our mobile business further and deal with the increasing challenges that this industry is facing, we need to change the leadership. Therefore Håkan Dahlström leaves his position.”

    Dahlström has been at the operator since 1998 and has served as head of Mobility Services since February 2010. For two years before that he was head of Broadband Services and he has also acted as President of Mobility Services Sweden and Head of Corporate Networks & Technology.

    A clue as to the trajectory of Dahlström and Kivisaari may be contained in Telia Sonera's 2012 first half results announcement, where Mobility Services was singled out as sluggish, and Eurasia as doing well.

    "While trends within Broadband Services and Eurasia have been broadly stable, Mobility Services experienced a slower growth in service revenues and equipment sales. Mobility Sweden delivered growth for the 22nd consecutive quarter albeit at a lower rate, while growth in Yoigo in Spain slowed down despite further market share gains."

    "It is satisfying to see that our growth engine Eurasia continues to deliver double-digit growth and that all countries are contributing."

    The Eurasia business area comprises mobile operations in Kazakhstan, Azerbaijan, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan, Georgia, Moldova and Nepal and also TeliaSonera’s shareholding in MegaFon (Russia) and Turkcell.

    Just this week Swedish TV programme Uppdrag Granskning broadcast allegations of bribery by the operator in Uzbekistan. The allegation is that a payment of $350 million in cash and shares to Gibraltar based company Takilant was a bribe and faciliated money laundering. Telia Sonera said it paid the money in good faith to acquire a 3G license, frequencies and number series for use by its Uzebkistan acquisition Ucell.

    "We have not bribed anyone and nor have we contributed to money laundering," Nyberg told reporters at a press conference on 20 September. "This 2.3 billion crowns was an investment, not a bribe."

    Telia Sonera has initiated an external enquiry into the allegations.