After six years at the helm, Johan Dennelind announces his departure from Swedish telco

Johan Dennelind has tendered his resignation as chief executive of Telia Company, but will remain in the post until the telco appoints a replacement, which will be sometime in 2020.

The executive, who has held the top job at Telia since September 2013, said he is leaving the company to take on new challenges, but gave no further hint as to what his next move might be. The Sweden-based telco said its board will begin the search for a new CEO straight away.

"During his six years as CEO, Johan has vigorously worked with the repositioning of Telia Company," the telco’s board chair Marie Ehrling said, in a statement published on Monday. "The culture and strategy of the company have changed fundamentally and Telia is today a company with strong business focus that truly represents responsible business."

Dennelind took over from Lars Nyberg as CEO of Telia, then known as TeliaSonera, after a period of interim leadership. His predecessor fell on his sword following the corruption investigation in Uzbekistan.

As a result, governance, compliance and the regaining of trust were top of the agenda for Dennelind. However, he also oversaw the reshaping of Telia’s business, narrowing its focus to the Nordic and Baltic markets and selling out of Eurasia, a process that is almost complete.

"Telia Company is now entering a new phase with several opportunities for value-creation and with strong commitment from all our more than 20,000 employees. And it is after careful considerations that I now have decided to leave Telia and take on new challenges," Dennelind said. "I will continue in my role to drive our current agenda forward with full focus and commitment for as long as the board wants."