(Oslo, 18 December 2002) The Board of EDB Business Partner wishes to see a stronger industrial focus for the continuing development of the group, and has in consultation with the current CEO, Bjørn Trondsen, formed the view that this objective will be best served by a change of CEO.
"Bjørn Trondsen has built up a strong Norwegian IT business. When the current process of consolidation is completed early in 2003, the group will have a strong market position with sound technical expertise as well as a financial platform that will provide a solid basis for the group's further development", comments Bjarne Aamodt, Chairman of the Board.
EDB Business Partner was created by the merger of EDB ASA and Telenor Programvare in 1999. Bjørn Trondsen was the managing director of Telenor Programvare and was appointed CEO of the new group. The group has experienced considerable change over the period from 1999 to 2002, including the integration of Fellesdata and the development of its computer operating services environment in EDB Teamco. Bjørn Trondsen has led the group through a period of strong growth, with turnover increasing from around NOK 2 billion in 1999 to NOK 5 billion in 2001, with 2002 showing a slight fall for the year to date.
"The Board now wishes to see a stronger industrial focus for the group's activities, with greater emphasis on profitability over the years to come. On this basis the Board has initiated a renewed review of the company's long term strategy, and this process is already well underway. The Board has, in consultation with Bjørn Trondsen, formed the view that this next phase for the company's development will be best served by a change of CEO", adds Bjarne Aamodt.
Bjørn Trondsen (57) will continue to be available to the group until the age of 60, which is the retirement age stipulated in the contract negotiated when he was appointed to his current position. In accordance with his employment contract, Mr Trondsen will continue to be entitled to his current employment terms during this period.
The Board has appointed John-Arne Haugerud (46) as the acting CEO of EDB Business Partner. Mr Haugerud is currently an Executive Vice President of EDB Business Partner responsible for the Computer Operating Services business area (EDB Teamco). John-Arne Haugerud joined Teamco in 1991 after experience of IT in the banking and other sectors since 1977. His career with the group has spanned the acquisition of Teamco by Telenor in 1993, the establishment of Telenor Programvare in 1998 and the creation of the new group in 1999, at which time he was the Managing Director of NOVIT. The task of managing the work currently underway to review and renew the group's strategy and present a new business plan to the Board will be a major priority for Mr Haugerud.
"John Arne Haugerud knows EDB Business Partner so well that he will be able to carry out all the responsibilities of acting CEO with no delay. The Board intends to start the process of recruiting a new permanent CEO immediately, and will ensure that the search proceeds with all reasonable speed", explains Bjarne Aamodt. Mr Haugerud is also a candidate for the position of permanent CEO.
Ole Urdahl (43) will be the acting Managing Director of EDB Teamco while Mr Haugerud is acting CEO of the group. Mr Urdahl is currently the Deputy Managing Director of EDB Teamco.
EDB Business Partner has not changed its expectations for future market prospects, and does not see any reason to give any new indications on earnings prospects relative to the comments communicated in connection with the publication of the interim report for the third quarter and the announcement on 28 November of staffing reductions.
Any questions may be addressed to:
Bjarne Aamodt, Chairman of the Board
Mobile: +47 900 21 298