(Adds comments from industry source)
By Olof Swahnberg
STOCKHOLM Dec 16 TeliaSonera has
replaced the head of its Eurasian division, it said on Monday,
following an investigation into business dealings in the region,
which accounts for most of the Swedish firm's growth.
Swedish prosecutors began a probe last year, following
allegations of bribery, of TeliaSonera's investments in
Uzbekistan, including the purchase of a 3G mobile network
licence, which resulted in the departure of the group's former
chief executive and most of the board.
The company then dismissed four senior employees last month,
including its chief financial officer, after a wider
company-commissioned investigation by law firm Norton Rose
Fulbright found that some transactions in Eurasia - which
include operations in Kazakhstan, Azerbaijan, Uzbekistan,
Tajikistan, Georgia, Moldova and Nepal - had not been conducted
"in line with sound business practices".
TeliaSonera said on Monday Erik Hallberg, head of its
International Carrier business has replaced Veysel Aral as head
of Eurasia. Aral took the helm in February from Tero Kivisaari,
who led the unit when the investment in Uzbekistan was made.
An industry source said that Kivisaari was one of the four
executives who left the company last month.
Before Aral took over from Kivisaari he headed Kazakh mobile
firm K-Cell , in which TeliaSonera owns a 62
percent stake and which accounts for the bulk of its business in
A TeliaSonera spokesperson declined to comment except to say
Uzbekistan was not covered by the law firm's review as it was
already the subject of a criminal investigation.
TeliaSonera expects the law firm to complete its review in
the first quarter of 2014.
(Reporting by Olof Swahnberg; Editing by Greg Mahlich)