Telenor ASA named Sigve Brekke as new chief executive officer to replace retiring Jon Fredrik Baksaas as the carrier expands its business in fast-growing Asia.
Brekke, who joined the company in 1999, is executive vice president and head of Telenor’s Asia operations. He will take over as CEO by Aug. 17, Telenor said in a statement. Baksaas’s contract was set to expire at the end of 2015.
Brekke, 55, “has been instrumental in establishing Telenor Group as a leading international mobile operator,” the company said. Telenor has added more than 100 million subscribers in Asia and the region now represents more than 40 percent of the total enterprise value of Telenor, it said.
“Telenor’s strategy, including our financial priorities, form a solid platform for value creation for our shareholders and continued growth in Norway, Europe and Asia,” Brekke said in the statement.
Under Baksaas’ 13 years at the helm, the state-controlled carrier expanded its business in Russia, increasing its stake in VimpelCom Ltd., entered India in 2009 and began building a mobile network in Myanmar last year. The company’s stock price has increased almost six-fold since the 60-year-old started as CEO. Telenor’s shares fell 1.2 percent to 180.5 kroner at 11:04 a.m. in Oslo, paring this year’s gain to 19 percent.
Brekke’s annual base salary will be 5.9 million kroner ($780,000) and he will also be entitled to a long-term incentive grant of 30 percent of that amount. His maximum annual bonus is 50 percent of annual base salary. Brekke served as deputy minister of defense from 1993 to 1996. The former Norwegian Labour Party politician holds a master of public administration from the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University.