“I’ll go the extra mile to succeed”

Caring and competitive. That’s how Sonera’s new CEO Stein-Erik Vellan describes himself as a leader.

When Stein-Erik Vellan was appointed as head of Telia Company’s Finnish operations, the average height among the general executive management rose considerably.

Being 2.01 meters tall Vellan has represented Norway in the national basketball team. As he puts it: “that was many kilos ago”.

International experience
He has worked with IT and telecoms since the early 90's. A career which brought him and the family to countries like Serbia, India and Bulgaria. And now Finland where he has settled in with one son. His wife and the other son will join in the summer.

What are your first impressions from the first two weeks on the job?
“I’m extremely humbled by this opportunity. It strikes me all the time how lucky I am to be here. I’ve been met by fantastic energy among really good people.”

How would you characterise yourself as a leader?
“I care about people, I’m competitive and have a lot of energy. I want to have one agenda and be transparent in how we go about competing against the other players in the market and how we work together as one company. And I’ll always go the extra mile to succeed.”

You have worked for one of our competitors for a long time, what did you think of Telia Company before you joined us?
“I was intrigued by the positioning that Telia Company has worked on for the last couple of years. I liked the competitiveness in the organisation and I thought highly of some of the decisions that were made.”

You’ve lived and worked in some exciting places. What are your best memories from your years abroad?
“My most precious memories are from all the friends we’ve accumulated over the years. It all comes down to the people. I know I haven’t been here in Finland for long but I’ve already met some fantastic people.”

What do you enjoy doing when you don’t work?
“I try to work out but can just as well go out into the woods at our summer house and chop some wood. I’m a terrible singer but I play the bass and the guitar fairly. I have five really close friends and they’re really good at playing the guitar so they need someone to back them up on the bass.”