'Personal reasons' behind latest Veon board resignation

Robert Jan van de Kraats
Robert Jan van de Kraats.

A week after Mikhail Fridman resigned as a director of the board of Veon, a board member has now followed in his footsteps.

Effective Monday and confirmed yesterday, Robert Jan van de Kraats has resigned from his board duties, which included chairing the Audit and Risk Committee.

Kraats joined the board in 2018 and was appointed head of the Audit and Risk Committee that August. On 16 February 2021 he was appointed as director liaison for matters related to investor relations.

He is stepping down due to "personal reasons" and Veon said the new chairperson of the Audit and Risk Committee "will be announced in due course".

Gennady Gazin, chairman of the Board, said: “We thank Robert Jan for his many valuable contributions to our company, where he was the chairman of the Audit and Risk Committee of the Board. We wish him well in his future endeavours.”

Ukraine-born Fridman is a Russian Oligarch who also holds Israeli citizenship. As Capacity reported, he publicly condemned Russia's war in Ukraine in an email to staff in the early days of the invasion.

His decision to step down was announced 1 March, hours after the European Union imposed sanctions on him and other Vladimir Putin-linked Russian businesspeople.

Kraats on the other hand is a chartered accountant and Dutch national. He is active on multiple boards and is a Member of Supervisory Board at Royal Schiphol Group. He was appointed to that in 2015 and his second term expires in 2023.

Excluding Veon, Royal Schiphol Group lists his experience as:

  • Non-Executive Chairman of TMF Group

  • Director Randstad Beheer

  • Non-executive Director of OCI N.V.

  • Member of the Advisory Board of the Goldschmeding Foundation

  • Member of the Advisory Board of Suitsupply B.V.

  • Former Advisor to the Supervisory Board of Hema B.V. (until 1 February 2021)

  • Former CFO and Vice-Chair of the Executive Board of Randstad N.V.

Veon's share price has tumbled over the last month. The Russian invasion of Ukraine started on Thursday 24 February, Veon released its FY21 financial results on 28 February and Fridman confirmed his resignation on 1 March.

Veon share price, month to 9 March 2022
Veon share price, month to 9 March 2022