Two Telenor Group executives temporarily relieved of their responsibilities

Press release
3 minute read
As a result of Telenor Group’s previously announced external review by Deloitte of the Group’s handling and oversight of its minority ownership in VimpelCom Ltd., Telenor has today temporarily relieved CFO Mr. Richard Olav Aa and General Counsel Mr. Pål Wien Espen of their responsibilities.
VimpelCom, in which Telenor Group is a minority shareholder, is under investigation by Dutch and American authorities in relation to its operations in Uzbekistan. Telenor is a witness in the ongoing investigation and has shared all information requested by the investigating authorities.

“We have no reason to believe that these two executives have been involved in the alleged corruption in VimpelCom. They are trusted managers with a solid track record in Telenor. Questions have however been raised about how Telenor handled concerns related to VimpelCom’s investment in Uzbekistan. In order to address this, the Board has, among a series of measures, assigned Deloitte to perform an independent review of the handling of Telenor’s minority ownership in VimpelCom. To avoid questions being raised about the review we have come to a mutual understanding that Richard and Pål will be temporarily relieved of their responsibilities until the facts have been established,” says Sigve Brekke, President and CEO of Telenor Group.

Mr. Aa and Mr. Espen express that they have contributed to handling concerns related to VimpelCom's investment in Uzbekistan in a correct manner.

Telenor Group has appointed Executive Vice President Morten Karlsen Sørby as acting Chief Financial Officer. Karlsen Sørby is currently part of the Executive Management team and has served in a number of executive positions in Telenor. He joined the Supervisory Board of VimpelCom in 2015, and will now withdraw from this position, effective immediately. Within the rules of the VimpelCom bye-laws he seconds his vote to Gunnar Holt.

Mr. Aa and Mr. Espen will maintain their salary and other benefits during the period of leave of absence.

The investigation of VimpelCom is ongoing and Telenor therefore cannot comment on details related to the case.


Glenn Mandelid, (+47) 926 61 300

Atle Lessum, (+47) 415 05 645