CEO and Chairman
VEON’s Board of Directors appointed Ursula Burns as CEO on 13 December 2018, in addition to her role as Chairman.
Ms. Burns was appointed as Chairman of VEON on 24 July 2017 and spent a period as Executive Chairman before her appointment as CEO.
Ursula Burns has extensive international experience of large companies confronting technology change in their industries. She was Chairman of the Board of the Xerox Corporation from 2010 to 2017 and Chief Executive Officer from 2009 to 2016.
She is a director of the boards of Exxon Mobil, Nestlé and Uber.
President Barack Obama appointed her to help lead the White House national program on Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM), and she served as chair of the President's Export Council.
Ms. Burns also counsels other community, educational and non-profit organizations including the Ford Foundation and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) Corporation. She is a member of the National Academy of Engineers and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. Ms. Burns holds a master's degree in mechanical engineering from Columbia University and a bachelor's in mechanical engineering from Polytechnic Institute of New York University.
Group Chief Operating Officer
Kjell Johnsen is VEON’s Group Chief Operating Officer.
He was previously CEO of Beeline Russia. Kjell joined VEON from Telenor, where he was head of Telenor Europe with previous roles as CEO of Telenor Serbia, as well as Senior Vice President and Head of Telenor Russia, Telenor Central & Eastern Europe. He was also a member of VEON Ltd's Supervisory Board from 2011 until 2015 and PJSC VimpelCom's Board of Directors from 2007 to 2013. Prior to entering the telecommunications industry in 2000, Kjell worked for Norsk Hydro in France and Ukraine, and Scandsea International in Norway and Russia.
Kjell is Norwegian, has an MBA from the Norwegian School of Economics and Business Administration, and has attended the University of Oslo, Norwegian School of Management, and Nord University Business School.
Group Chief Financial Officer
Trond Westlie is Group CFO at VEON.
Before this engagement he served as the Group Chief Financial Officer and Member of Executive Board of A.P. Møller - Mærsk Group from 2010 throughout 2016. Prior to this he served as CFO and EVP of Telenor Group from 2005 through 2009 and also served as its Director of Finance & M&A ahead of this. Previous engagements have been Group EVP and CFO of Aker Solutions (alternate name, Aker Kvaerner) from 2002 to 2004, CFO and Group EVP of Aker Maritime ASA from 2000 to 2002, EVP Business Development of Aker RGI ASA from 1998 to 2000 as well as other positions in Aker RGI prior to this. He has served as director in several Boards, like Danske Bank, Danish Ship Finance, VEON ( previously Vimpelcom), Subsea 7 (merged with Acergy). Mr. Westlie qualified as a State Authorized Public Auditor from NHH Norwegian School of Economics in 1987 and worked as an auditor from 1984 to 1995.
Group General Counsel
Scott Dresser has served as Group General Counsel since September2014. He came to VEON from BirdLife International, a global conservation organization, where he was Vice President of Global Strategic Initiatives.
Between 2006 and 2012, Scott held a number of positions with Virgin Media in the UK, including service as General Counsel, where he led its legal department and acted as principal liaison with the company’s Board of Directors, and was a member of its Executive Management Team. He also previously held positions in the US at White Mountains Re Group (which is the operating company of White Mountains Insurance Group Ltd), in the role of Senior Vice President and Associate General Counsel from 2005-2006; as Senior Advisor for Legal and Financial Affairs for the International Global Conservation Fund (an international non-profit organization in marine regions) from 2002-2005; and the law firms of Morgan, Lewis & Bockius LLP and Lord Day & Lord, Barrett Smith.
Scott studied at the Vanderbilt University School of Law and the University of New Hampshire. He was admitted to the Bar, in the states of New York and Connecticut, in 1993.
Group Chief Technology Officer
Yogesh Malik joined VEON as its Group Chief Technology Officer in March 2014. Yogesh joined from Uninor, an Indian mobile network operator, where he was its Chief Executive Officer.
Before becoming CEO at Uninor, he held a variety of senior positions including as Chief Operating Officer, covering the areas of Technology, Regulatory and Customer care. Yogesh has also held the positions of CTO with Grameenphone in Bangladesh, CTO with Kyivstar in Ukraine and as Head of Technology & Sourcing at Group level with Telenor. He has also worked for TIW, Tata/AT&T and Ericsson in the Czech Republic, Brazil, China and Canada in various senior positions. He is an Executive MBA graduate of IMD in Lausanne, Switzerland.
Group Chief People Officer
Jacky Simmonds was appointed as Group Chief People Officer of VEON in January 2018. Prior to this appointment, she was Group Director, People of Easyjet plc, with responsibility for Human Resources globally.
Prior to Jacky’s tenure at Easyjet, she held a series of senior HR positions in the travel sector including CHRO of TUI Group, where she was also a member of the Group Executive Committee. Jacky is also currently a non executive director of Ferguson Plc, where she is Chair of the Remuneration Committee.
Her experience has included leading all aspects of Human Resources in global organisations, developing specific strategies in Executive compensation, Board and Leadership Sucession planning,talent and development, change and organisational transformation. She also has a depth of expertise in culture change and employee engagement.
Group Chief Ethics & Compliance Officer
Joshua Drew was appointed as Group Chief Ethics & Compliance Officer and a member of VEON’s executive management team in October 2017.
Joshua joined VEON in July 2016 as Associate General Counsel and was most recently Acting Group Chief Compliance Officer, where he has been responsible for leading a team of compliance professionals across all of VEON’s operating markets to establish and implement an effective compliance programme and advising senior management on core compliance, risk and governance issues.
From 2011 to 2016, he was Vice President & Associate General Counsel at Hewlett-Packard and Hewlett-Packard Enterprise, responsible for investigations and anti-corruption compliance. He also previously served as Director, Corporate Compliance & Business Practices at Endo Pharmaceuticals. Josh began his legal career in the U.S. Department of Justice, working for 4 years as a Trial Attorney in the Fraud Section of the Criminal Division, and for 6 years as an Assistant U.S. Attorney in the District of New Jersey, prosecuting public corruption, money laundering, tax evasion, securities fraud, health care fraud and other offenses.
Josh graduated from Northwestern University School of Law and Wesleyan University.
Group Chief Strategy Officer
Alex Kazbegi was appointed as VEON’s Group Chief Strategy Officer and a member of Group Executive Committee in February 2019.
Alex brings considerable experience in telecoms and infrastructure after more than 20 years in investment banking in the Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA) region. Key industry surveys consistently ranked him as a leading telecoms analyst in Russia and EMEA.
Prior to joining VEON, Alex was a Managing Director and Head of MENA Telecom, Transportation, Infrastructure and Healthcare Research at Renaissance Capital and previously he was a lead EMEA telecoms analyst at Citigroup.
Alex holds dual British and Georgian citizenship. He was awarded an MBA from Tulane University in the USA and a PhD in Theoretical and Mathematic Physics from Tbilisi State University.
Vasyl Latsanych was appointed as Chief Executive Officer of VimpelCom Russia (Beeline Brand) in January 2018.
Vasyl joined VimpelCom from MTS, where his most recent role had been Vice President for Strategy and Marketing, responsible for company-wide commercial and strategic initiatives, customer experience transformation and digital development.
Vasyl has extensive experience in marketing, sales and brand management for telecoms, IT and digital services firms. Prior to working in telecommunications, Vasyl was responsible for local market development of global brands for the Russian and Ukrainian offices of Coca-Cola.
Aamir is Chief Executive Officer of Jazz, Pakistan’s leading telecom operator with 50 million subscribers. Prior to his position as CEO, Aamir was Jazz’s Deputy CEO and Chief Commercial Officer.
Aamir has over two decades of international experience as a senior executive across multiple industries and continents. Prior to joining Jazz, Aamir was the Senior Vice President for Telenor Group, where he led distribution initiatives across Asia. Aamir has also held senior leadership positions at Ford Motor Company, Jaguar & Land Rover.
Aamir brings with him a wealth of experience specifically in strategic marketing, sales and distribution, analytics, product development, government and regulatory management, business planning, M&A, public relations and crisis management.
Aamir is a Pakistani native, with an undergraduate degree in Accounting from the University of Texas and an MBA from IMD in Switzerland. In 2012, Aamir received an Advanced Management Program diploma from Harvard Business School. Aamir has lived and worked across multiple cultures and countries including Thailand, Pakistan, the UK, the United Arab Emirates, Switzerland and the US.
Aleksandr joined VEON in 2013 and since 2015 was CEO of Beeline Kazakhstan, where he oversaw solid revenue growth and the launch of new digital services. In addition to that role, he was initially appointed interim CEO of Kyivstar in July 2018. He moved to become permanent CEO of Kyivstar in December that same year.
Before joining VEON, Aleksandr was Director General of GroupM, the largest marketing company in Ukraine, and held several senior marketing and commercial roles with international and Ukrainian companies. Aleksandr holds an MBA degree from the Stockholm School of Economics. He also is a graduate of the Kyiv Polytechnic Institute.
Eugene joined VEON in 2005 and was previously Business to Business Director at Kyivstar in Ukraine before becoming Chief Executive Officer of Beeline Kyrgyzstan. He had held a series of marketing and strategy roles at Kyivstar, most recently overseeing consistent B2B revenue growth and increased market share.
Eugene holds a BA in Political Science from the University of Kyiv-Mohyla Academy and a Strategic Marketing Mini MBA from the London Business School.
Andrey Pyatakhin has been Head of VEON's Armenia operations since May 2013. Andrey came to Armenia from VEON Russia, where he was Vice President and Regional Director for its Moscow region.
Since joining VEON in 2001, Andrey has held a number of key positions in Russia and Eurasia. He has headed Beeline Georgia, held regional Commercial Director positions, and roles in corporate sales and business development. Andrey holds an MBA from the American University of Business Administration and is also a graduate of Lipetsk State Technology University.
Andrzej Malinowski became Chief Executive Officer of Beeline Georgia in May 2017. Before joining VEON, Andrzej worked for Lamoda Ukraine, where he was CEO for the last five years.
In his previous role in Lamoda, a leading international online retail business and part of the Global Fashion Group founded by Rocket Internet, Andrzej launched Lamoda Marketplace which quickly gained a leading position amongst existing online retailers. Also during his tenure, he successfully introduced private labels on their digital platform and significantly grew their business. Andrzej holds a Finance Law degree from the University of Wroclaw and a Business Study diploma from the National University of Ireland, Galway.
Matthieu has a deep knowledge of Algeria, with significant experience in senior executive roles in the industry and in the Middle East and North Africa. Matthieu was previously Chief Commercial Officer for VEON’s emerging markets, which serves 95 million customers in Algeria, Bangladesh and Pakistan. His previous roles include Chief Marketing & Communication Officer of KenCell in Kenya from 2000 to 2004; Chief Commercial Officer of Djezzy from 2005 to 2009; Chief Commercial Officer of Tunisie Telecom from 2009 to 2014, and Chief Commercial Officer of Zain in Saudi Arabia from 2014 to 2016.
Matthieu, a French national, holds a Master’s degree in Econometrics, and a post graduate degree in economics and energy from the University of Paris X.
Evgeniy joined VEON in 2016 and was Chief Commercial Officer at Beeline Kazakhstan during a period of solid revenue growth and the launch of new digital services. Prior to joining VEON, Evgeniy was Deputy CEO of a leading consumer finance company in Russia.
Sergey joined the VEON Group in 2016 as Regional Director for Beeline Russia’s southern region, where he led a successful retail strategy which resulted in growth in overall market share. Previously, Sergey was Commercial Director at a large FMCG company in Russia.
Erik Aas has headed VEON’s Bangladesh operations since December, 2015. He joined VEON from PT AXIS Telekom Indonesia.
Erik has previously served as CEO of Grameenphone in Bangladesh, and was also the Chief Marketing Officer of Malaysian operator DiGi. Erik has an Executive MBA from IMD in Switzerland and a Masters of Science from the Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU).
Dmitry B. Zimin
Founder and Honorary President
Dmitry Borisovich Zimin was born on April 28, 1933 in Moscow. His father, Boris Nikolaevich Zimin, a research associate at Bauman State Technical University, was persecuted for political reasons and was sent to a Soviet penal labor camp in 1935. His mother worked as a typist. In 1957, Dr. Zimin graduated from the “Radio Electronics for Flying Vehicles School” at Moscow Aviation Institute. In 1963 he received a PhD, and in 1984 a ScD degree.
Dr. Zimin is an academic at International Telecommunications Academy, a corresponding member of the Russian Academy of Engineering Sciences and a member of the presidium of the Russian Academy of Business. He is an author of over 100 scientific studies and inventions, a winner of the Popov Award given by the USSR Science Academy in 1965 and the State Award of the Russian Federation in 1993.
Dr. Zimin occupied managerial positions at the A.L. Mints Institute of Radio Engineering (RTI) for more than 35 years. He was employed as head of the laboratory, head of its scientific department, director of the center for developing radio engineering equipment and deputy chief constructor of the ground-based radar element of a major missile defense system.
At the beginning of the 1990s, Dr. Zimin, with a group of RTI engineers, established a small enterprise called “KB Impuls,” which developed projects and manufactured radio equipment for civil purposes.
In 1992, he co-founded of VimpelCom and made a significant contribution to shaping the mobile communications market in Russia. In 1996, VimpelCom, which had transformed into an open joint-stock company by the time, became the first Russian company to list on a major US-based exchange.
As Director General and President at VimpelCom, Dr. Zimin was a member of the board of the Russian Union of Industrialists and Entrepreneurs (RSPP) for many years. In 2001, he received the National Award “Business Olympus” in the category of “Business Reputation.”
In May 2001, Dr. Zimin retired as VimpelCom’s Director General. Following a decision by the Board of Directors, he was given the title of “Honorary President and Founder of VimpelCom”.
Upon his retirement, Dr. Zimin established the non-profit Dynasty Foundation to support Russian fundamental science and education, and popularize scientific knowledge. It remained active until 2015.