VimpelCom appoints Facebook exec to board in digital services push

VimpelCom chairman Alexey Reznikovich

VimpelCom shareholders appointed a Facebook executive to the company’s supervisory board in a bid to beef up the operator’s presence in the digital services sector.

Stan Chudnovsky, head of product for messaging at Facebook, joins Danske Bank director Jørn P. Jensen as fresh members of VimpelCom’s supervisory board. Mikhail Fridman, Gennady Gazin, Andrei Gusev, Gunnar Holt, Sir Julian Horn-Smith, Nils Katla, and Alexey Reznikovich will remain members of the board.

In a statement announcing the appointments, VimpelCom explained that the two new board members bring expertise in technology, digital entrepreneurship, and international corporate leadership. Those skills will be utilised in the operator’s strategy to become a digital services provider throughout its current markets.

The operator explained that Chudnovsky brings significant experience of the digital market to the table. He previously held a VP role at PayPal following its acquisition of a company he co-founded, and had a hand in setting up an early social media company.

Alexey Reznikovich, chairman of VimpelCom’s supervisory board, said Chudnovsky “has a long history in developing and nurturing new and successful digital businesses, and in working in the social networking space with some of the strongest and fastest growing brands in the industry,” which will make him “a huge asset as VimpelCom transforms into a digital leader.”

Jensen “will strengthen” the company’s supervisory board, Reznikovich added, explaining that the executive brings “extensive experience in senior positions and boards, as well as corporate governance.”

Prior to taking his role at Danske Bank in 2012, Jensen served as deputy CEO and CFO at brewing company Carlsberg, was a member of a Danish corporate governance committee, and gained broad experience on the boards of several large corporations.

VimpelCom recently reported year-on-year declines in revenue through the first half and second quarter of 2016, as losses in mobile and fixed service revenue offset gains in mobile data revenue in both periods.

Reported EBITDA in the second quarter fell 26 per cent year-on-year to $795 million (€712 million), and the half year figure was down 23 per cent at $1.5 billion.

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

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