VEON has formally appointed Vasyl Latsanych as CEO of its operations in Russia.

The former VP of Strategy and Marketing at rival MTS will take on his new role from January.

Latsanych left MTS in July and was known to have agreed to join VEON, although his exact role was not made clear.

He will lead VEON’s PJSC VimpelCom business unit, which operates as Beeline in Russia and has 61 million fixed and mobile customers.

The opco saw revenues grow 1.3 percent to $3.5 billion in the first nine months of the year, while EBITDA rose 1.1 percent to $1.35 billion.

Latsanych replaces Kjell Morten Johnsen, VEON’s Head of Major Markets, who took over as CEO on an interim basis in September 2016 after Mikhail Slobodin had to resign over corruption allegations.

Johnsen said: “Vasyl brings extensive experience and a proven track record in the telecoms industry.

“His appointment will further strengthen and develop VEON’s strong market position, particularly as we look to implement important strategic initiatives in a highly dynamic and developing Russian market.”

Latsanych was crowned European Communications’ CMO of the Year in 2016.

During his acceptance speech, he said the best marketers were those who were preparing to become CEOs.

Of his new appointment, Latsanych said: “I am excited by the opportunity to lead PJSC VimpelCom, and I am looking forward to working with the team to ensure that Beeline customers are provided with the best digital services and solutions, particularly as the Russian telecoms market enters a new phase of development and digital change.”

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