September 11, 2019 / 2:58 PM / 3 months ago

Telia's finance chief Luiga named acting CEO as seeks Dennelind replacement

FILE PHOTO: Telia sign is seen on a building in Vilnius, Lithuania March 30, 2019. REUTERS/Ints Kalnins/File Photo

STOCKHOLM (Reuters) - Telecom operator Telia (TELIA.ST) said on Wednesday that its chief financial officer Christian Luiga would be active chief executive while it finds a replacement for Johan Dennelind, who resigned unexpectedly in August.

Dennelind, who since taking the helm in 2013 has transformed Telia’s strategy by seeking new growth opportunities, including a push into television, will remain at Telia’s disposal until he leaves the Swedish group during 2020.

“He will act as an advisor in the closing of the acquisition of Bonnier Broadcasting and in other important company issues,” Telia said in a statement.

Telia is planning a takeover of Swedish television group Bonnier Broadcasting, with the deal announced last year under scrutiny by EU antitrust regulators.

The deal underlines the telecom industry’s efforts to compete with big internet players such as Netflix (NFLX.O) and Amazon (AMZN.O) by acquiring media companies.

Under Dennelind, Telia has withdrawn from nearly all of its central Asian markets after years of investigations into alleged corruption linked to local partners, such as in Uzbekistan, and problems accessing cash in some markets.

Telia said it had appointed Douglas Lubbe, whose most recent role was CFO of Telia Sweden, as acting group CFO.

Telia’s shares were little changed at 1426 GMT.

Reporting by Anna Ringstrom; Editing by Simon Johnson and Alexander Smith

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