Telenor reshuffles leadership team, onboards Google Cloud’s head of telecoms


The changes include the onboarding of Google Cloud’s ex-head of telecoms, Amol Phadke, as chief technology officer (CTO)

Today, Norwegian telecoms group Telenor has announced a number of changes to its leadership structure, aiming to bolster growth as part of the company’s 2025 strategic plan.

The reshuffle includes what is essentially a job swap for the heads of its Nordic and Asia business units, with Jørgen C. Arentz Rostrup taking over the role of EVP and Head of Telenor Nordics from Petter-Børre Furberg, who in turn will move into Rostrup’s role as EVP and Head of Telenor Asia.

Rostrup served as Telenor’s CFO from 2016–2020 before moving into the Head of Asia role. During this time he oversaw two of the company’s largest mergers to date, combining Telenor’s DTAC with True Corp in Thailand and Digi with Celcom in Malaysia .

“Jørgen was sent to Asia three years ago with a mandate to deliver growth and modernisation and capturing opportunities in the region. After completing the two biggest telco mergers in Southeast Asia and setting up and implementing a strong and future-proof organisation in the region, he will now return to the Nordics,” said Telenor’s president and CEO Sigve Brekke (pictured, right) in the announcement.

Furberg, meanwhile, had most recently served as CEO of Telenor Norway and headed up the company’s Nordics division. However, he has extensive Asia experience, having held the role of EVP Head of Emerging Asia from 2017–2019, as well as a variety of other senior roles in Telenor’s Asian businesses in Bangladesh, Singapore, Thailand, and Myanmar.

“When Petter-Børre is returning to Asia, we can utilise the competence of one of our most experienced leaders with 15 years in previous and different roles in the region. He will play an instrumental role in ensuring the implementation and success of the two mergers as well as continue to develop Telenor’s business in the region,” explained Brekke.

In addition to this Nordics–Asia swap, Telenor has also announced that Amol Phadke (pictured, left), previously head of telecoms at Google Cloud, has been appointed EVP and group CTO.

In the new role, Phadke will set the company’s technology and research strategy, as well as being responsible for Group Security.

“I am thrilled that Amol has agreed to lead the next wave of our technology transformation and to help us drive the use of technology as an enabler for profitable growth. His extensive leadership experience from global technology companies and unique telecom credentials will enable us to navigate the tremendous technology shift in our industry and unlock the resulting value for Telenor, our customers, and partners,” said Brekke.

Phadke takes over the role from Ruza Sabanovic, who has served as CTO since 2015. Sabanovic herself will reportedly “be the subject of another announcement in due course”.

Speaking to Reuters, Brekke highlighted Phadke’s experience in the telecoms sector, as well as his experience with AI.

“[We] to use AI in all of our operations to make operations more efficient, develop new products, increase energy efficiency,” Brekke said.

According to the report, Phadke said the company would use AI to reinvigorate the business, including automating network functions and improving customer interactions.

In contrast to the likes of BT, however, he said that the increased adoption of AI would not lead to job cuts.

Phadke will begin his new role on September 1st, while Rostrup and Furberg will begin on October 1st.

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