Etisalat’s group CFO Okandan joins Veon in same role

Etisalat’s group CFO Okandan joins Veon in same role

06 April 2020 | Alan Burkitt-Gray

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Etisalat’s group CFO Serkan Okandan is moving to Veon to take the same role.

It is the latest in a series of changes at the top of the Amsterdam-based group, led by chairman Ursula Burns.

In February she appointed Sergi Herrero and Kaan Terzioğlu as co-CEOs, and last week they appointed Alexander Torbakhov to head its Russian operation, representing more than half the group’s business.

Today’s appointment of Okandan (pictured) brings to the group someone who has worked on the financial side of mobile operations since 1999, when he joined Turkcell as financial controller. He left Turkcell in 2011 after five years as group CFO.

Terzioğlu was himself CEO of Turkcell – but after Okandan had left – from 2015 to 2019.

Okandan became group CFO of Etisalat in 2012. “Veon is a company with a clear strategy for growth over the coming years, in both connectivity and digital services,” he said.

He added: “With new co-CEOs and 212 million customers in some of the world’s most dynamic and youthful countries I am delighted to join and help drive the company’s growth agenda.”

Veon’s previous group CFO was Trond Westlie, who announced his departure in June 2019. Burns told Capacity in an interview last year that appointing a replacement to the position was one of the tasks on her desk.

The co-CEOs, in one of their characteristic joint statements, said Okandan is “a first-class executive who brings a wealth of experience to Veon which will be invaluable as we look to consolidate our position in connectivity and digital services”.