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Lars Nyberg, President and CEO, Replaced at TeliaSonera

Friday 1 February 2013

STOCKHOLM – (TeliaSonera press service) As Lars Nyberg has decided to leave his position as President and CEO of TeliaSonera, the Board of Directors has appointed Per-Arne Blomquist as acting President and CEO.

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Per-Arne Blomquist
Born 1962. Acting President and CEO of TeliaSonera since February 2013. Chief Financial Officer of TeliaSonera since September 2008.

In September last year, serious allegations were directed at TeliaSonera in relation to the company’s investments in Uzbekistan. TeliaSonera assigned the law firm Mannheimer Swartling to investigate whether company’s investment in a 3G license, frequencies and number blocks in Uzbekistan in 2007 involved corruption or money laundering. Later, the investigation was expanded to include more recent investments in connection with TeliaSonera’s operations in Uzbekistan.

Today, the law firm presented his report to the board. The Board concludes that Mannheimer Swartling has not found any substance to the allegations that TeliaSonera committed bribery or participated in money laundering in connection with its investments in Uzbekistan. However, Mannheimer Swartling also makes the observation that the suspicions of crime expressed by the Swedish Prosecution Authority cannot be dismissed by this investigation. Mannheimer Swartling also acknowledges that business ethics, as well as OECD and UN regulations and national legislation, have been strengthened significantly in recent years.

Mannheimer Swartling directs serious criticism at TeliaSonera for shortcomings in the investment process and concludes that not enough effort was made to investigate either the local partner in Uzbekistan, or how the local partner could hold the rights which were later transferred. Mannheimer Swartling says that the internal controls were not sufficient to ensure that it did not risk becoming involved in any unethical business, and that thereby the company’s internal ethical guidelines were not followed completely.

In a statement, the Board’s declared that its conclusion is that the investments were not carried out in a satisfactory manner. Overall, the internal information and control at different levels (owners, directors, management and line management) was not sufficient to pick up warning signs that there were ethical risks. In hindsight, it is evident that a more stringent investigation of the counterparties should have been conducted. One consequence of this was that subsequent investments were also not subjected to proper examination. The Board concurs with and shares Mannheimer Swartling’s criticism.

In a statement published on the TeliaSonera web site, Lars Nyberg declared:

When the board received the Mannheimer Swartling report, I was informed that there would be significant changes to the composition of the board. In order to continue as chief executive I need a functioning board and their explicit support. I was informed that as a result of the pending changes to the board they were not prepared to express that support.

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