TeliaSonera appoints Christian Luiga as CFO

TeliaSonera said on Friday it has appointed Christian Luiga as its new chief financial officer, a role that Luiga has fulfilled in an acting capacity since November 2013.

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Christian Luiga, new CFO of TeliaSonera

"Christian is very familiar with our operations and well equipped to be part of shaping TeliaSonera into the future," said Johan Dennelind, president and CEO of TeliaSonera.

Luiga replaces Per-Arne Blomquist, who was fired along with three other senior employees at the end of November following a review conducted by law firm Norton Rose Fulbright into business practices at TeliaSonera's Eurasian operations.

Former TeliaSonera CEO Lars Nyberg stepped down in February 2013 after a separate review by lawyers censured the company over corruption allegations related to the operator's purchase of a phone licence in Uzbekistan.

The Sweden-based company appointed Norton Rose in April 2013 to carry out a review of the transactions and agreements made over the past few years by TeliaSonera and partners in Eurasia. At the time, the company said information and conclusions to date indicated that the processes for conducting some transactions have not been in line with sound business practices.

Dennelind has previously stressed that the Norton Rose review excluded Uzbekistan but revealed not dissimilar patterns in "more than one" markets other than Uzbekistan in relation to risk assessment.

In December last year, the company unveiled a new group executive management team comprising 12 members that it said would be responsible for implementing a new operating model that seeks to increase customer focus and improve local accountability through clearer governance. The team is made up of existing and new members, and saw Erik Hallberg, currently head of TeliaSonera International Carrier, replace Veysel Aral as the president of the troubled Eurasian business.

Since then, TeliaSonera has been ordered by Dutch authorities to set aside between €10 million ($13.8 million) and €20 million as collateral to cover any financial claims relating to an investigation of the operator's business in Uzbekistan.

In March, prosecutors searched the offices of TeliaSonera UTA Holding, and TeliaSonera Uzbek Holding--both based in the Netherlands--and seized documents relating to the company's Uzbek operation. U.S. authorities are also probing TeliaSonera's Uzbekistan business, and the company is also liaising with Swedish prosecutors over allegations it effectively paid a bribe to Uzbekistan's president, Islam Karimov.

Russian operators MTS and VimpelCom are also facing investigations into their businesses in Uzbekistan.

For more:
- see this TeliaSonera release

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