VEON has appointed Huawei veteran Roland Sladek to drive its PR as the operator continues its attempt to reinvent itself as a tech company.

Sladek, who will serve as VEON’s Group Director of Communication & Identity, joins from Huawei, where he spent five years spearheading the China-based vendor’s efforts to build its reputation outside of its home market.

He has also worked at ST-Ericsson – Ericsson’s joint venture with STMicroelectronics – Daimler and Schneider Electric.

Mark MacGann, Group Chief Corporate & Public Affairs Officer at VEON, said: “Roland brings extensive telecom, tech and consumer communications expertise, which will be of huge value as we build a trusted global consumer and corporate brand.”

VEON ditched former company name VimpelCom at Mobile World Congress in February as it looks to reposition itself following a corruption scandal that saw it pay $795 million to authorities in the US and the Netherlands last year.

Alongside a new brand and a revamped management team, VEON also unveiled a new digital platform that features free messaging and content services.

Chief Digital Officer Chris Schlaeffer explained this week how it plans to add contextual services to the platform.

Sladek said: “There has never been a better moment to join VEON: we are in the midst of a major cultural and business transformation, where the strategic value of communications and positioning will be decisive factors in our success.”

VEON saw like-for-like EBITDA rise 1.9 percent to $861 million on sales that declined one percent to $2.3 billion in the first three months of the year.

Read more: Proximus, VEON execs win CTO of the Year awards

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