Allison Kirkby has been appointed the president and CEO of Telia Group, effective the second quarter of 2020.
Kirkby joins from Denmark’s TDC, which she had headed since late 2018, prior to which she was CEO of Telia rival Tele2.
Her widely anticipated appointment follows the sudden departure of Johan Dennelind in August.
Commenting on the appointment, Marie Ehrling, chair of the board of Telia Company, said: “Telia Company’s board of directors is today very happy and proud to announce that Allison will become president and CEO of Telia Company. Allison possesses all the qualities that have been on our list of requirements during the recruitment process. She has a solid industry experience from both telecom and media, a strong drive to implement change, a visionary approach and a strong focus on growth.
“Furthermore, Allison has in her career shown a powerful leadership that engages and inspires. That is a prerequisite to successfully implement the formative changes that Telia Company is currently undergoing with regards to new business models, new ways of working and rapid technology development. Allison will drive Telia Company further in the company’s ambition to be the leading operator in the Nordics and Baltics.”
Kirkby joins in the midst of Telia Company’s proposed acquisition of Bonnier Broadcasting, which includes commercial channel TV4 and the C More group.
Kirkby added: “I’m delighted and extremely honoured to be appointed president and CEO of Telia Company. Given its unique assets, scale and leadership position, Telia Company has the ability to be a role model for the global telco industry and bring the benefits of digitalisation to all its stakeholders, especially its customers and owners. I am really looking forward to getting to know the Telia team as we work together to take Telia Company forward.”
At one time Kirkby was thought to be in the running to replace Gavin Patterson as CEO of BT, where she holds a position on the board.
Christian Luiga will remain as acting president and CEO and then return to his role as executive VP of CFO of Telia Company.