Telenor appoints Jørgen Rostrup as CFO

Jørgen Rostrup is to take on the role of Telenor CFO no later than November.

Telenor appointed Jørgen Rostrup as its new CFO more than three months after Richard Olav Aa resigned from the position following criticisms over the way the operator handled allegations of corruption at VimpelCom.

Rostrup is currently president of Yara North America and is due to take up his position at the Norway-based operator no later than Nov. 1, 2016. Acting CFO, Morten Karlsen Sørby, will continue in his role until the new CFO is on board, and will then take on the new post of chief transformation officer.

Former CFO Olav Aa and general counsel Pål Wien Espen resigned in April after Deloitte Advokatfirma delivered its final report as part of a review into the VimpelCom matter. While the law firm concluded that no Telenor staff were involved in corrupt actions, it described Telenor's handling of its VimpelCom ownership as "insufficient."

VimpelCom -- in which Telenor holds a 33 per cent stake -- was investigated after allegations that it bribed officials in Uzbekistan to gain 3G and 4G operating licences. The company in February agreed to pay a total of $795 million (€710 million) to settle U.S. and Dutch probes into the allegations.

Telenor now intends to divest its stake in VimpelCom, with some reports suggesting that a sale could take place soon. Citing information from TMT Finance, the Moscow Times said the Norwegian operator is still searching for investors but will sell its shares on the London Stock Exchange at a lower price if it fails to find a buyer by the end of September.

The report added that Telenor hopes to raise at least $2.3 billion from the stock market sale, and has appointed Morgan Stanley and JP Morgan to coordinate the deal.

It is therefore possible that the VimpelCom saga could be over by the time Rostrup takes up his new role. Although the new CFO does not have a telecoms background, he has over 20 years of international managerial experience that will benefit a globally active operator such as Telenor.

“With my international background both in the finance and business development areas, and from significant exposure to governance and corporate responsibility issues, I look forward to making a valuable contribution to the management team in Telenor Group as well as to creating value for Telenor’s shareholders and ensure solid financial guidance,” Rostrup said.

For more:
- see this Telenor release
- see this Moscow Times article

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