Telenor gives CEO vote of confidence

James Pearce
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CEO Sigve Brekke was under pressure over his time as the company's head of Asia, but has received backing of the Telenor board

Telenor’s board of directors has issued a vote of confidence for CEO Sigve Brekke following recent criticisms of his time as the company’s head of Asia.

An internal audit revealed that Telenor’s Asian unit had held a number of “unacceptable sponsorship deals” during Brekke’s seven year stint as EVP and head of region Asia for the operator.

Reports from Norway had also claimed the board and Brekke had recently clashed, with some speculation over the CEO’s future with company.

One report in the audit found that the Bangladeshi security police had a canteen refurbished using money from Telenor, while another investigation from PWC found irregularities in relation to land ownership agreements which house the operator’s base stations in Thailand.

The statement from the Telenor board said: “The Board and management has agreed upon the company’s strategic direction towards 2020. Going forward, the board will focus fully on the continued development of Telenor as a value creating, innovative and responsible company.

“During the meeting, the Board has confirmed its trust in President and CEO, Sigve Brekke.  It is the Board’s opinion that Mr. Brekke is the right person to lead the implementation of the new strategy. Recently, media has referred to issues from Sigve Brekke’s period as Head of Asia. The cases have previously been handled and concluded upon by the Board.

“During the past year, Telenor has had a specific focus on improving governance and follow-up and review in our different markets. Telenor operates in many challenging markets and will also in the future have to handle compliance and business ethics risks. The Board and management will therefore further strengthen the mitigation work and the development of good systems to detect and solve issues that arise.”