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TeliaSonera chairman ousted

'Swedish political games'

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Tapio Hintikka, the Finnish chairman of TeliaSonera, has been forced out of the telco in a Swedish-backed putsch.

TeliaSonera was formed in late 2002 as a merger between Finland's Sonera and Sweden's Telia. The Swedish government still owns 45.3 per cent of the combined company and the Finnish government has a 19 per cent stake.

The row kicked off when Hintikka's proposed replacement for board member Ingvar Carlsson, a former Swedish prime minister, was rejected by Swedish board members and the Swedish government.

Hintikka told the Financial Times: "I thought TeliaSonera should act purely from a business point of view. but in this nomination process I've become involved in Swedish political games and I don't like it."

He accused the Swedish government of undermining Finnish influence on the company and of viewing it as a purely Swedish enterprise, according to Finnish newswires.

The company said it will appoint another Finn to replace Hintikka on Friday. The Swedish government said he had resigned because he had lost the confidence of the board. ®

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