VEON hands Trond Westlie CFO role as Davies departs

James Pearce
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Former Telenor CFO Westlie replaces Davies, who is leaving the operator after four years for undisclosed reasons

VEON has named former Telenor executive Trond Westlie as its new group chief financial officer, replacing Andrew Davies who steps down after four years in the role.

Westlie will join the Amsterdam-based operator, which owns brands including Beeline in Russia and Wind in Italy and Greece, in October and assume his duties as CFO in November.

His previous experience includes a six year stint as CFO at Danish transport and logistics firm AP Moller-Maersk which ended in 2016, and a run as Telenor CFO from 2005 to 2009. He has already worked with VEON, having served on its supervisory board between July 2014 and August 2016.

Westlie commented: "This is an excellent time to be joining VEON. The company operates in some of the most exciting communications markets in the world and the foundations are in place to help drive further digital growth and efficiencies. I look forward to working with Jean-Yves and the rest of the senior management team to help take advantage of VEON's unique growth opportunities."

Westlie replaces Davies, who joined VEON in November of 2013, and played a key role in the merger of VEON’s (then VimpelCom) merger of its Italian unit with Three Italy, which resulted in the creation of Wind Tre.

Davies will remain with the company until the end of the year to ensure a structured handover, VEON said, although no reason was given for his departure.

Davies said: "It has been a privilege to be part of the team that has helped transform VEON from the Company it was four years ago, to where it is today. I am proud that the Company is now on a significantly more stable footing, generating strong free cashflow, with a robust capital structure and meaningful dividend. I am confident that VEON will continue to successfully execute on its digital transformation and cash flow growth strategy in the years ahead."

His departure comes after a key year for VEON, which rebranded from VimpelCom in February, naming itself after the messaging platform it has developed as part of a move into position itself as a technology company, rather than a telco.

Jean-Yves Charlier, CEO of VEON, said: "Trond brings impressive experience to VEON. He will contribute significantly to the Company's transformation in particular around our digital and cashflow growth initiatives given his extensive experience from his time at Maersk and Telenor. I look forward to working with him."

"I would like to thank Andrew for his leadership, integrity and commitment over the past four years. He has made a major contribution to ensuring VEON is where it is today - a revitalized business that is generating strong free cashflow with a stable and appropriate capital structure, an endeavor which enabled the Board to announce a new dividend policy earlier this year."

For a full interview with Jean-Yves Charlier, check out the upcoming issue of GTB, due to be released at the beginning of October.