Telenor appoints Michael Foley as CEO of Telenor Bulgaria

Telenor reshuffled its senior management team in Bulgaria, appointing Michael Foley as CEO of Telenor Bulgaria to replace Stein Erik Vellan, who is taking on the role of SVP and head of group corporate support at Telenor Group.

The moves come into effect on Aug. 1 and Foley's appointment will be his second CEO role within Telenor Group companies after he was hired to head up the company's Telenor Pakistan operation in 2014. Irfan Wahab Khan, currently the deputy CEO and full CMO of the Pakistan business, will replace Foley at the head of that business.

Sigve Brekke, president and CEO of Telenor Group, said the company is utilising "our executives' competence and knowledge across different markets and functions."

In a statement announcing the moves, Telenor said that Foley brings over 30 years of sales, marketing and operational experience in telecoms and retail sectors. The new Bulgarian CEO also has previous experience in the country, where he held a leadership role in the telecom industry from 2004 to 2005. The executive will retain a role as chairman of the board at Tameer Microfinance Bank in Pakistan.

Foley said key goals for his tenure at Telenor Bulgaria will be to "show our customers the benefits of Telenor's services and products and the power of digitalisation."

Vellan was appointed CEO of Telenor Bulgaria in 2013, when the Norway-headquartered company acquired local operator Globul. Telenor said Vellan led a complete turnaround in the Bulgarian division, including rebranding the business, rolling out 4G services, and improving its financial performance.

Telenor Bulgaria generated total revenues of NOK758 million (€81 million/$90.9 million) in the first quarter of 2016 compared to NOK685 million in the same period of 2015, and increased EBITDA from NOK253 million in the first quarter of 2015 to NOK286 million in the recent quarter. However, operating profit declined from NOK173 million in the 2015 period to NOK137 million in the first three months of 2016.

Foley and Khan will both also join Telenor's group executive management team while Vellan will step down as a member when the reshuffle comes into effect.

Khan has been with Telenor for 12 years and was the company's first employee in Pakistan when he was appointed to the roles of EVP and head of corporate affairs in 2004.

For more:
- see this Telenor announcement
- view the company's recent earnings statement (PDF)

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