Kjell Morten Johnsen, who took up the position of CEO at Tele2 in September last year, has started 2021 with a clear intent to deliver the Sweden-based operator's "next transformation phase," which includes cutting annual operational expenditure by "at least" 1 billion Swedish kroner (US$120 million) by 2022.
Johnsen has appointed two key new members of the management team, one of whom is Yogesh Malik, the former Group CTO of emerging-markets operator VEON. Malik has been named executive vice president CTIO and will lead the newly combined technology and IT unit.
The announcement also solves the mystery of what Malik's next role would be after leaving VEON in June last year. Malik is a former colleague of Johnsen at both VEON and the Telenor Group, where Malik held roles in both Norway and India and Johnsen was head of Telenor Europe for three years.
Malik replaces Thomas Helbo, EVP Technology, and Joss Delissen, EVP IT, after a handover period. It's not clear as yet where the two former Tele2 executives will go next.
Johnsen said a close collaboration between network and IT is essential for the operator's network modernization, 5G rollout and IT transformation.
"With a track record as a competent leader and driver of technological transformation, Yogesh brings exactly the kind of experience and perspective needed to lead this new unit through the next phase of development," he said.
The second key appointment is Stefan Trampus as EVP Tele2 B2B. Trampus is currently director of the network operator business and CEO of Tele2's subsidiary iTUX and will start his new position on January 18. He will also remain in his role as CEO of iTUX.
It was also noted that Mats Almgren, who was expected to start his appointment as EVP Tele2 B2B in January, will not join Tele2, due to personal reasons.
Other Tele2 management team members are Mikael Larsson, group CFO; Karin Svensson, EVP people and change; Kim Hagberg, EVP chief operations; Samuel Skott, EVP chief commercial officer; and Stefan Backman, EVP group general counsel and director wholesale business.
Tele2 certainly faces a challenging period ahead: the Swedish operator cut nearly 700 jobs in 2019, about 13% of the total, and still has much to do to achieve its cost-cutting target and transform its operations.
In December, it sold its German business to the Tele2 Germany management for an enterprise value of up to €22.8 million ($27.8 million), dependent upon the financial performance of the business until the end of 2024.
Its immediate focus will be to acquire 5G-enabling spectrum during Sweden's upcoming auction, which is now scheduled to take place on January 19 after being postponed twice. Tele2 has also just named Nokia as its 5G core partner for Sweden and the Baltics.
- Tele2 taps Nokia for 5G core in Sweden and Baltics
- Tele2 banks on new CEO to cut costs
- Tele2 cost-cutting cushions Q2
- Eurobites: Tele2 cutbacks fatten profit margins
- Tele2 has slashed hundreds of jobs and more cuts are coming
- Tele2 targets further cuts as sales remain flat
- VEON extends decentralized strategy to CTO role
— Anne Morris, contributing editor, special to Light Reading