New Telenor heads in Serbia and Russia

Press release
6 minute read
Kjell Morten Johnsen has been appointed new CEO of Telenor Serbia, replacing Stein-Erik Vellan, who has been nominated head of Telenor's initiative in India. Mr. Johnsen will take up his new position as of March 16 this year. New Head of Telenor Russia will be Ole Bjørn Sjulstad.

Telenor Serbia

Kjell Morten Johnsen

Kjell Morten Johnsen (41) joined Telenor in 2000, as Project Director of Telenor International Centre and has headed Telenor Russia since 2006. Johnsen is presently member of the Board of Directors of VimpelCom, a membership he will maintain also in his new position.


"It is with respect and enthusiasm that I take on the challenge to develop this superb company further, seeing what impressive work my predecessor, Stein-Erik Vellan has done. I know that the Serbian customers are used to demanding and getting top quality network and innovative services from Telenor Serbia. It will be my top priority to improve this company further to the benefit of customers and employees alike," said Kjell Morten Johnsen.

Telenor Russia

Ole Bjørn Sjulstad

New Head of Telenor Russia is Ole Bjørn Sjulstad (47). He has been with Telenor since 2000 when he became Vice President of Telenor's Asian headquarters in Singapore. Here he served as Managing Director of Telenor Asia from 2002 to 2004 when he returned to Norway. Since 2007 Sjulstad has had a specific responsibility towards Telenor's interests in Russia through the ownership in VimpelCom. He is now member of the Board of Directors of VimpelCom and of the Board of Directors of Grameenphone in Bangladesh.

"I look forward to representing Telenor in Russia and continue to develop the more than 16 year long history of Telenor-investments in Russia. I intend to keep up the good relationship Telenor has established to Russian authorities, media and analysts as part of our long term ambitions in Russia," said Ole Bjørn Sjulstad.

Telenor confident

"We are very happy that Kjell Morten Johnsen, with his skills and experiences has accepted the position as CEO of Telenor Serbia and we wish him all the best in his new position. His highly appreciated efforts in Russia, has strongly contributed to an increased knowledge and improved perception of Telenor in Russia. He will have an excellent replacement in Ole Bjørn Sjulstad, who I am confident will also be profiling and promoting Telenor in Russia in a positive way. I also take the opportunity to thank Stein-Erik Vellan for the magnificent job he has done in the development of the company. When he now leaves Serbia, it is because he has accepted even greater challenges, in taking our Indian initiative into a prosperous future," said Jan Edvard Thygesen, Executive Vice President and Head of Telenor's Central and East European operations.

Downloadable high resolution photos:

Kjell Morten Johnsen:

Ole Bjørn Sjulstad:


Telenor Serbia is Serbia's second largest mobile operator with more than 2.8 million subscribers (end of 2008). The company, which is wholly owned by Telenor was acquired in August 2006.

Telenor Russia is Telenor's country office in Russia, based in Moscow.

VimpelCom is Russia's second largest mobile operator with 57.8 million subscribers. The company operates in Russia, Kazakhstan, Armenia, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan, Ukraine, Georgia, Cambodia and Vietnam. Telenor holds 33.6 % of the common shares (29.9 % of voting shares) while the Alfa Group holds 37 % of the common shares (44 % voting shares). Remaining shares are in free float and on many hands. VimpelCom is stock listed on the New York Stock Exchange.

Contact persons:

Telenor ASA:

Dag Melgaard, Communications Manager
tel: +47 90 192 000, e-mail:

Telenor Russia:

Anna Ivanova-Galitsina, PR and Communications Director
tel: +7 495 937 9588, e-mail:

Telenor Serbia:

Ana Davico, Media Officer
tel: +381 63 230686, e-mail: