Earlier in the year, before Russia started its war on Ukraine, the shares would have been worth $1.7 million, but since the February invasion the price on the Nasdaq has fallen to just 44¢ .
Amsterdam-based Veon, which derives most of its business from Russia and Ukraine, said: “The shares were granted under Veon’s deferred share plan. This award represents another step in aligning the compensation of the management team with the successful implementation of our digital operator strategy and the creation of long-term value for our shareholders.
The two leaders are CEO Kaan Terzioğlu (pictured) – who will be interviewed in Ability in the next issue – and CFO Serkan Okandan.
For Okandan, a former chief financial officer of Etisalat who moved to Veon two years ago, this is his first equity reward. He now owns 222,172 Veon shares. But it is a substantial reward for Terzioğlu, who now owns 1,674,900 shares.
Veon said its executive committee members will accumulate over time and then maintain a minimum level of shares. This will amount to six times the annual base salary of the Group CEO and twice the annual base salary for other members.
The band was hit hard by the war in Russia. Its Russian subsidiary VimpelCom represents 52% of the group’s activity. Its Kyivstar operation in Ukraine accounts for an additional 13%.
The management team reacted to the war by moving loans from the group’s sanctioned Sberbank and Alfa Bank to VimpelCom in Russia.
It said in May that its total cash and deposits had grown to around $2.4 billion, including $1.8 billion in cash and deposits held by its headquarters in Amsterdam, in dollars and euros.
Apart from Russia and Ukraine, the company’s other activities are located in Algeria, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Uzbekistan, Pakistan and Bangladesh.