Salomon Bekele – Head of Media Relations
Marie Ehrling – Chairman
Johan Dennelind – President and Chief Executive Officer
Per-Arne Sandström – Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer
Thomas Heath – Handelsbanken
Lena Österberg - Carnegie
Teliasonera Ab Ord (OTC:TLSNF) Special Conference Call June 17, 2013 2:30 AM ET
Good morning everyone and welcome to this press conference and webcast and teleconference with TeliaSonera and the reason we are here is the fact that Johan Dennelind has been appointed Chief Executive Officer and President of this company. My name is Salomon Bekele I’m Head of Media Relations and will moderate this telephone conference/webcast/press conference and with me here on the stand will be Marie Ehrling, Per-Arne Blomquist and our newly appointed CEO, Johan Dennelind.
We will have microphones available for those of you who wants to ask questions and I ask you to not start asking your questions until you have microphones that everyone can hear, I will alternate them and take calls from the teleconference as well as from the stand here in the room.
We will start with a brief introduction by the Chairman Marie Ehrling and after some comments from Johan Dennelind then we will open up the floor for question and answers and afterwards there will be a time for one-on-one introduce for those of you who wants to do that. I’m pleased to have my colleagues over there, [Josephine Ann] is on and [Aidan Quinn] are available to take notes of those who are interested in comments, but Marie Ehrling welcome and Johan Dennelind and Per-Arne Blomquist, please.
Good morning everyone and once again most welcome to this press meeting and webcasted conference. Well, I’m very pleased today to inform that we have in place strong executive management team of TeliaSonera around, I’m delighted that Johan Dennelind will join the company already in two weeks from now July 1, that he will take over as a CEO at September 1 and as from that day Per-Arne Blomquist will continue as Executive Vice President and CFO of TeliaSonera.
We have conducted a rigorous requirement process over the last two months, it’s been actually the most prioritized item that we have had on the board’s agenda since April and the board [work] have been led by myself and my two colleagues in the Remuneration Committee Olli-Pekka Kallasvuo and Mats Jansson and we believe that Johan Dennelind actually lifts up to our main search criteria and the criteria that we have look forward is of course strong and extensive leadership skill and for me, I think this is actually the most important item to be able to be a strong leader and we think that Johan really personalized that and personalized good leadership and good values, which is very important.
Experience of developing international corporations including proven record of leading companies in change processes and of course Johan also has a broad knowledge of the telecom industry almost 20 years behind you. It’s also good to know that you have been working in very complicated and demanding markets such as Africa for example, you will come back to that in your own comments and on top of that I think it’s a bonus that you also have been working from Teila albeit back in the 90s and started as a management trainee in 1995 here at Telia and that is good as well to have as an experience.
I know I will get a lot of questions about remuneration, so I think I take it up front. TeliaSonera is a company that has a difference, obviously it’s a different if you compare to most large cap companies at this very Stock Exchange. We have a system with fixed salary and pension scheme with defined contribution pension and the yearly salary that Johan will get if 13.6 million Swedish Krona and on top of that he will get 30% defined contribution and that’s the remuneration, it’s very simple and it’s very transparent. So that’s TeliaSonera.
I’m convinced that in Johan, we have find the right person and I think know that you are very devoted and committed to lead TeliaSonera into the future, so please Johan.
Thank you, Chairman, good morning everyone. I’m delighted and excited and thrilled to been given this vote of confidence of leading TeliaSonera into the future, also very humble towards the task ahead, there is also some challenges they are facing up in the industry. On a personal note, I think it’s also great to be coming back to TeliaSonera where I actually started by career back in 1990s as the Chairman just said. So TeliaSonera has always had a special place in my heart through my career and hopefully, I can now pay back to the great start that I got in life.
And TeliaSonera is a great company from the outsider for me and I’m really looking forward to take part of the opportunities and challenges that face us. I think TeliaSonera is extremely well place for the future in the sweet spot of the industry and the industry is very fast changing as you know and if we are not fast changing with the industry or actually leading the change in the industry, we are at great risk, therefore I see innovation as a crucial factor for us as telecom operators to survive in the future.
We as an industry also have now a great responsibility of acting as a good cooperates [citizens] everywhere we operate, partly because our customers and consumers now demand our services so greatly, but also because the scientists are demanding responsible action from us as operators and of course we are here to do that.
And me personally, the Chairman just said, I’ve been in the telecom industry for 20 years, I’ve been across continents, I’ve been in three of the largest Telco’s in the industry both Telia, Telenor and Vodafone, Vodacom, and I’m fascinated by the industry’s current challenges and opportunities.
So I’m really looking forward to joining, hopefully I can bring passion and energy that I can promise, hopefully I can also bring some new ideas and bring focus on people and culture, of course those are the things that are really passionate about, I think I also should mention a little bit about the recent history, because I’ve gotten some questions on that. We made a recent family decision to move back to Malaysia to head up the - largest telco in the country and that was back in December.
During the spring, we’ve had a personal family circumstance that has changed, which led us to reevaluate our decision, which would we then made in the late spring and that has nothing to do with this process, and I just want to reiterate today, reiterate that. And I’m not going to go into the personal circumstances around my family. But again, I’m really excited about getting this opportunity, so thank you for the conference and support and I’m keen to get started and I think I’m going to stop there, because I know there is going to be a lot of questions. So back to you Chairman.
Thank you, and now it’s time for questions and as Salomon said, we will take from the Salomom’s floor and we will take by phone.
The press conference is primarily held in English, but I know there is some requests for asking questions in Swedish. So we can do a couple of those as well. Upfront.
Yes, good morning [Andreas Joelsson from SEB Bank]. I’m just wondering if you have an opinion about the footprint of TeliaSonera and how do you see that in the coming years. I’m thinking about the Eurasia and do you think of expansion or scaling down or how do you look at the footprint five years from now?
Well, thank you for the question, but I think it’s a little bit early to get into specifics about TeliaSonera’s current strategy and footprint, but I certainly will over the next couple of months. But generally speaking, I think a telecom operator of Telia’s nature with a mix of mature markets and emerging markets is positive and also with a mix of portfolios in terms of segments and industry I think Telia has well placed as I said. So looking good.
Another question from the podium here.
Lena Österberg – Carnegie
Lena Österberg from Carnegie. Well welcome I should say and I think you have a very great track record from emerging market operations, which will come in handy and you come from a genuine growth background. So, I was wondering a little bit of how you view the part of Telia, which is not growing, how you will take on that challenge in transforming to the mature bits of TeliaSonera?
That’s a good question, and again, I think we need to, and give me sometime to get into the existing operations. But generally speaking, we have the same challenges across the industry regardless of emerging or mature markets. It’s about finding right model for the future to face the challenges of the very fast changing industry and that goes regardless of emerging or mature markets slightly different focus in the two extremes, but you can use the same business model.
Are there any questions from the telephone conference operator? Not yet.
(Operator Instructions) And your first question comes from the line of Peter Nielsen. Please ask your question.
Thanks very much. Congratulations and welcome to TeliaSonera firstly. I appreciated it’s too early for you, I’m sure to discuss any policy statements or strategic initiatives or anything, but in your discussions with the Chairman and rest of the Board sort of any indications now as what you will see as your key priorities and challenges for TeliaSonera going forward?
Well, thank you. My first challenge and my first priority is to make sure that I get well informed and well into the business before I comment any further on priorities or strategy or anything. I think the current management and Per-Arne Blomquist comments on the existing operations.
Any other question operator from the telephone conference?
Your next question comes from the line of Ulrich Rathe. Please ask your question.
Yeah, thanks. These questions are related to what Lena started to debate, I mean your answer was that ultimately the challenges are very similar, but as I suppose there is a sense out there that in the moment share markets and regulation and the deflationary top line you get from regulation in Europe and the cost management requires sort of a very fundamentally sort of different job description compared to grabbing market share and growing markets. I was just wondering what is the sort of the interest especially because you originally plan to actually move on into emerging markets growth areas, what is your senses is, where your approaches in Sweden are going to be and how you are going to focus on these, “so boring” parts of the of the European side of things.
Well thank you Ulrich time to disagree with you, there is nothing boring with the, I mean our industry I have to say and I also agree with that or I agree with you rather there are different approaches in the different value chains and the state for business, but there is something in common and its about culture and people and if you get that right you can execute in various scenarios and various circumstances. So again, I will come back to that once I have a informed view of the company. So that’s really a question for later.
Questions from the room, and we have one back there.
Thomas Heath – Handelsbanken
Thank you. Thomas Heath with Handelsbanken, welcome to TeliaSonera of course from us as well. You bring with you a experience from two groups Telenor and Vodafone that’s have often been more integrated as operations between countries and at least in the past TeliaSonera has been. Could you say something about how you view the integration between countries in large Telco like TeliaSonera, do you see your trend towards integration or would you say that operation are better off the handled individually and separately any thoughts on that would be appreciated.
Well thank you Thomas. Again, I’m not going specifically comment on TeliaSonera but as you rightly pointed out, the industry is changing and the importance of various presence in both mobile and fixed is increasingly important and I think as I said initially TeliaSonera is well placed with a mixed portfolio and a balanced portfolio of the assets. So I think it looks good from that perspective, but again we have come to back to what it means specifically for TeliaSonera.
We have question in Swedish from (inaudible).
All the audience is mainly Swedish speaking Swedish radio.
Thank you very much. So we’ll go back to English, are there any other questions here in the room? No questions? Telephone conference?
There are no questions from the phone lines.
In that case I suggest that we pause here, and then there will be time and chance to do one-on-one interviews with the people on the podium here. And as I said before your spin-on is on over there, my colleague and (inaudible) have control of the list, and we’ll take it from there. So, approach them and thank you for taking your time and joining us at this press conference. Thank you.
That does conclude our conference for today. Thank you for participating. You may all now disconnect.
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