Interview Michaela Ahlberg – new Chief Ethics and Compliance Officer

Doing the right thing in focus for Michaela Ahlberg
– TeliaSonera’s new Chief Ethics and Compliance Officer

In line with recent progress made in this field, Michaela Ahlberg will take up the position of Chief Ethics and Compliance Officer at TeliaSonera starting September 1. She will have a key role to play in building on the work already being done and improve it even further. The importance of her position is underlined by the fact that she will report directly to the CEO; expected to drive change and have the mandate to do so.

With a résumé including more than 15 years as a senior legal professional with global corporate names such as Volvo Cars and Nokia Siemens Networks, a degree in law, as well as certifications by the Society of Corporate Compliance and Ethics (CCEP), she has the experience to meet the challenges ahead.

“This is the most interesting job in Sweden if you have my kind of background. In fact I am coming into my dream job at the age of 57. It is a wonderful opportunity to work with motivated people to set up an effective and relevant compliance and ethics program and to make it the best in Sweden and Europe. I think the momentum is here to really achieve something great and this is very rewarding indeed,” says Michaela Ahlberg.

As a Swede she remembers a time when TeliaSonera was a government agency called Televerket. Since then it has merged with Finnish Sonera and become an international group with operations in 18 countries from Norway to Nepal. It is not the same company it was only a few years ago, she says.

“It is more international and multicultural, which is a great backdrop for someone like me in my function as Compliance and Ethics Officer, as more and more the pressure is for companies to be global players and this of course opens up immense opportunities in my field.”

From a distance Michaela Ahlberg has followed the reporting on TeliaSonera linked to alleged bribery and corruption, as well as accusations of violations of human rights. A reflection she has is that this was something which was bound to happen, it was only a question of when and which company.

“This represents a good opportunity for TeliaSonera to be a vehicle for change. We all need to recognize that – of course – it is all about 'doing the right thing', and it is exactly that which is so tricky in an increasingly global and complicated environment,” she says.

Her top priorities in the new position is to find the right people to connect to in the organization, those working with the same type of issues and goals, and make them part of her cross functional network. Michaela Ahlberg will also set a structure for the compliance and ethics program and fill it with substance. It is up to Group Management to decide on the action plan, speed and effort we need to put into place.

She stresses the point that “to do the right thing” is often easier said than done. The business is daily faced with difficult decisions and dilemmas where a solid compliance and ethics program should support the organization to understand what “doing the right thing” actually is in a given situation. The Compliance and Ethics program is the facilitator and promoter of change.

Michaela Ahlberg – at a glance

Professional experience

  • Volvo Car Corporation – Chief Ethics & Compliance Officer
  • Nokia Siemens Network – Head of Legal and Compliance, Middle East and Africa and Head of Legal and Compliance North America
  • Nobel Biocare Holding AG – VP General Counsel, head of legal and IP department
  • EHPT Sweden AB – General Counsel
  • Lindahls Law firm, Ahlbergs lawfirm
  • OctaNova Group – General Counsel
  • ESAB AB – Legal Counsel
  • Mannheimer & Zetterlöf Law firm – Associate
  • Court of Mölndal


Education

  • Basics in Pscychology, University of Gothenburg
  • Master of Law, University of Lund


Hobbies and Interests

  • Travels: France, India and Africa
  • Friends
  • Yoga, hiking and fitness.