Tele2, Swedbank chiefs on shortlist for TeliaSonera CEO job -source

STOCKHOLM Fri May 24, 2013 10:06am EDT

STOCKHOLM May 24 (Reuters) - The top executives of mobile operator Tele2 and bank Swedbank are among four candidates on a short list drawn up by the board of TeliaSonera to be its next chief executive, a source with knowledge of the process said on Friday.

Tele2's Mats Granryd, Swedbank's Michael Wolf and former Tele2 chief executive Lars-Johan Jarnheimer, are three of the names on the list, the source with insight into the board's deliberations said.

The source, speaking on condition of anonymity, declined to name the fourth person in the running to lead a company in which the state has a 37 percent stake, which makes the appointment more politically sensitive than for other blue chips.

"There are just four candidates who are remaining," the source said, adding the candidates had also expressed their interest in being part of the process.

TeliaSonera and Jarnheimer declined to comment. Michael Wolf and Mats Granryd could not immediately be reached for comment. Swedbank and Tele2 declined to comment.

A decision on the new chief executive is due to be made before the end of June, the source said.

The new head of TeliaSonera will be tasked with restoring a corporate image damaged by allegations of bribery to win a licence in authoritarian central Asian state Uzbekistan, which is being investigated by Swedish prosecutors.

The company has denied any wrongdoing, but former chief executive Lars Nyberg resigned in February after an internal investigation criticised the company over its purchase of the license in 2007, even if it failed to conclude definitively that a crime was committed.

At the same time, the new chief will have to deal with running a 2 billion crown ($300 million) cost cutting programme and a strategic shift from traditional voice-based telephony to Internet-based data services for smartphones and tablets.

Telia is also embroiled in a near decade-long fight over ownership and control of Turkcell, Turkeys' biggest mobile operator. ($1 = 6.6654 Swedish crowns) (Reporting by Olof Swahnberg and Simon Johnson; editing by Patrick Graham)

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