27 March 2018
| Alan Burkitt-Gray
Jean-Yves Charlier has resigned as CEO of Veon, the Amsterdam-based mobile business formerly called VimpelCom.
Ursula Burns, the company’s chairman, will take
his role from today as executive chairman until a replacement
No immediate explanation is available for
Charlier’s departure, though it appears on the
surface to be amicable. Charlier said, in a statement issued by
Veon: "It has been a privilege to lead Veon through a critical
period in its history. Over the past three years, we have
achieved a profound transformation of the group and I am
immensely proud of all that we have accomplished."
Burns, who was CEO of Xerox from
2009 to 2016 and then chairman of Xerox’s board
until last year, paid tribute to Charlier’s role.
"He leaves the company having led three years of performance,
structural and business transformation, and he will assist me
with the transition," she said.
Charlier added: "The transformation creates a solid foundation
for a positive path for the company in the years ahead and I
wish Ursula and the Veon teams across the world the very
Burns will continue her chairmanship while also assuming direct
supervision of the company’s executive management
team. During this transition period, she will be supported by
Kjell Morten Johnsen, a former Telenor executive, who will take
on the role of interim chief operating officer, assisting her
in overseeing Veon’s operations in its
Veon said its supervisory board is undertaking a search for a
new CEO and added that, once a replacement is named and
installed, Burns will revert to her role as chairman of the
She said: "With Veon’s unique geographic
footprint, and a strong push on our digital agenda to better
serve our 240 million customers, we are well positioned to
compete, grow and prosper in the markets we serve. I look
forward to working even closer with Veon’s
management team to build on our strong foundations and find
further opportunities to unlock value for our
Veon appointed Burns to be chairman of its expanded supervisory
board in July 2017, when the company took steps to bring in
external skills. She took over the chair from Russian-born
Alexey Reznikovich, now a citizen of Malta, who runs the
telecoms arm of LetterOne, the Luxembourg-based vehicle of
energy investor Mikhail Fridman.
Burns, who trained as a mechanical engineer, spent most of her
career at Xerox.
A former CEO of Colt, Charlier also ran French mobile operation
SFR for two years until 2014 before joining what was still
VimpelCom in April 2015.