Telenor appoints new CEO for Hungary business

Alexandra Reich, Telenor Hungary's new CEO

Telenor announced Alexandra Reich will take the helm of its mobile business in Hungary by Nov. 1, replacing the unit’s current CEO Christopher Laska.

The Norway-headquartered operator said Reich will also join the executive management team of Telenor Group when she takes up the role of CEO at Telenor Hungary. Laska, in turn, will take up the role of SVP of board governance and partner relations in Asia.

Telenor Group president and CEO Sigve Brekke said Reich was chosen due to her solid understanding of “customers’ digital ambitions, her in-depth knowledge of the telecoms industry and her entrepreneurial drive”.

Reich has served as the EVP and head of Mobile Business at Swisscom Enterprise for the past two years, after joining the Swiss operator in 2009. Reich began her career in the investment banking sector before establishing her own online digital business in the mid 1980s.

From 2001 onwards, Reich has held a number of positions in the telecoms industry with companies including T-Online Austria, Three Austria, and Sunrise.

“After many years in telco, working with challengers in Germany, Austria and seven years with the Swiss incumbent, I felt it was time to take this exciting opportunity,” Reich said, adding. “My expertise has always been in marketing and sales and within the last years I have learned a lot about customer experience design and the power of customer centricity, especially in the digital world.”

Brekke said Reich will be tasked with continuing the progress Laska achieved during his tenure at Telenor Hungary, which has seen the operator deploy 4G and launch entertainment and financial services including MyTV, Deezer, and Telenor Wallet.

Telenor’s recent earnings report for the opening half of 2016 revealed a drop in operating profit at its Hungarian business, from NOK393 million (€42.3 million/$47.3 million) in the opening half of 2015 to NOK362 million in the recent period. That decline came despite the unit growing revenues from NOK2.1 billion in H1 2015 to NOK2.2 billion in the recent period, and increasing EBITDA from NOK684 million in the opening six months of 2015 to NOK686 million in the recent period.

Reich’s appointment comes a week after Telenor announced Jørgen Rostrup as its new CFO, more than three months after his predecessor Richard Olav Aa resigned from the position amid criticism of the way he handled allegations of corruption at VimpelCom, in which Telenor Group holds a stake.

For more:
- see this Telenor announcement
- view the company’s H1 earnings statement (PDF)

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