May 15, 2013 7:37 PM CET
Although there is still half an hour to go before the opening of Tele2’s annual general meeting, the room is already getting crowded. Shareholders are looking intensively in the financial documents that are nicely packaged in glossy white folders. At two o’clock sharp Chairman Mike Parton raises his voice to present Wilhelm Lüning who is elected chair of the meeting.
Tele2’s Annual General Meeting 2013 was held on Wednesday May 13, 2013 at Hotel Rival, Stockholm, Sweden.
Everything is done according to an established agenda, as it should during a general meeting. The language is graceful and Wilhelm masters it fully. It is important that everything is done properly and according to the protocol. For example, each shareholder has been provided with an electronic device pre-programmed with the correct number of votes in case a voting session should be necessary.
Mike Parton starts by commenting on the sale of Tele2’s Russian operations. He states that it was a good deal for all parties that generated both strong cash and gave money back to the shareholders.
Tele2’s CEO Mats Granryd then makes a summary of important events for the company over the past months. He begins by showing a film shot at the Tele2 Arena, which will open this summer. In the movie called “The Human logo” more than 1,300 employees dressed in white are forming a giant Tele2 logo on the stadium’s raw concrete floors.
Mats also commented on the dramatic decline in the demand for prepaid cards in favor of subscriptions in Sweden. He mentioned Norway’s ongoing network expansion and the Netherlands 4G rollout as well as the organic growth in Kazakhstan.
CEO, Mats Granryd elaborated on the growth opportunities within the Tele2 Group.
So what about the Telecom industry, is it still a growth industry? We are in a mature market with increased price pressure. Right now there is a big shift from voice to data, and the question is whether we can successfully charge for data and if we can make the tough competition.
Mats Granryd´s answer to that is yes – we are definitely a growth industry. As an operator, we have a critical role in today’s information society. We have a natural place in between service and hardware developers. Without us, there will be no development of new cloud services and new mobile phones or tablets. As network access providers we are enabling communication between people.
We are sitting on the two most important abilities, the customer relationship and the access. We have so many opportunities in front of us, and we are standing strong compared to our competition.
After the presentation a number of shareholders asked about sustainability and anti-corruption work in Kazakhstan just to mention a few. Mats and Mike took turns to answer and said that they recently devoted an entire Capital Market Day to Tele2’s social responsibility efforts.
- We have a very clear code of conduct that all our employees and contractors are required to sign and that we carefully follow up on. There are no skeletons rattling around in our closet, Mats stated.
The general meeting provided a dynamic Q&A session, a lot of the questions asked by the shareholders surrounded Tele2’s Corporate Responsibility efforts.
Finally Cristina Stenbeck stepped forward to present the nomination committee’s proposal on new composition of the Board. She suggests Carla Smits-Nusteling and Mario Zanotti as new members. Cristina herself has chosen to step down in order to focus on her mission as Chairman at the board of Kinnevik. However she will of course still have a large interest in the development of one of the key players of the Kinnevik group of companies. The meeting accepted her proposal and Wilhelm could thus use the gavel for the last time on this sunny Tuesday to close the annual general meeting of 2013.
Cristina Stenbeck presented the new composition of Tele2’s Board.