Mechelen, 24 March 2022 – Tomorrow Telenet Group Holding NV (“Telenet” or the “company”) will publish the convocation for the annual general meeting of 27 April 2022.
In the convocation the Board of Directors (“Board”) is proposing the appointment of four new directors: Ms. Lieve Creten[i]1, Mr. John Gilbert and Mr. Dirk JS Van den Berghe2 as new independent directors of the company and Ms. Madalina Suceveanu as a new non-executive director (upon proposal of Liberty Global, in accordance with article 18.1(ii) of the articles of association). The Board is simultaneously proposing an extension of the director mandates of Ms. Amy Blair and Ms. Severina Pascu.
Ms. Christiane Franck, a current independent director, will be leaving the Board as of the date of the annual meeting as she has reached the maximum permitted age to be part of the Board of Directors, as stipulated in the company’s Corporate Governance Charter.
Mr. Bert De Graeve, Chair of the Telenet Board of Directors and independent director, will retire from the Board as of the date of the annual meeting. He requested that no proposal be submitted to the annual meeting requesting that his mandate be extended. The Board of Directors has consequently decided to appoint Jo Van Biesbroeck3, independent director of Telenet since 2015, as independent Chair at the end of the annual general meeting, to replace Mr. De Graeve. He expects to serve for up to one year, providing continuity for the Board as the new Board members are onboarded. The Board of Directors expects to appoint Mr. Van den Berghe as Chair after that period.
Providing the general meeting of shareholders approves these appointments, then as of 27 April 2022 the new Telenet Board of Directors will consist of 11 members, including four independent directors. The new Board will be well-placed to help promote further growth for Telenet given its wide breadth of experience and background. The new Board will have four women, five different cultures and a wide range of expertise, including Technology, Media and Telecom industry experience, e-commerce, digital transformation, data platform management, finance and technology.
Bert De Graeve, Chair of the Board of Directors: “I am particularly pleased that we are able to propose Ms. Creten and Messrs. Gilbert and Van den Berghe as independent directors at Telenet. They all have extensive expertise in various domains and wide-ranging strategic and financial know-how. Ms. Suceveanu has great technology experience as well. I am also pleased that Mr. Van Biesbroeck will take on the chairmanship of the company following the next general meeting. Being a prime mover at Telenet and highly experienced, he will be able to guarantee continuity and a seamless transition to a new Chair. I am very glad that Mr. Van den Berghe will initially join us as an independent director, following which the Board of Directors intends to appoint him Chair of the company. He has extensive international experience in fast moving consumer goods environments and in-depth knowledge of e-commerce, digital transformation and customer data platforms and I am very confident that he will be an outstanding board member and Chair. Telenet’s future is bright, and he will be a key contributor in helping the company continue to develop, grow and innovate in the exciting world of TMT in Belgium.”
The current directors and management of Telenet would like to express their sincere gratitude to Mr. De Graeve and Ms. Franck for their commitment and expertise in making Telenet a pioneer and leader at the junction of telecoms and media.
John Porter, Telenet CEO: “I would also personally like to thank Bert De Graeve for his leadership and vision. Using his experience in the telecoms and media business he inspired and supported me and my team, to enable Telenet to develop into a company where audacious media activities are linked to superior connectivity services. Our outstanding collaboration helped to develop Telenet into a benchmark enterprise of international stature. Christiane Franck also has been a key contributor to our Board for over 6 years providing seasoned advice on a variety of topics. I hereby also want to thank her for her expertise.”
1 Ms. Lieve Creten serves as permanent representative of Lieve Creten BV.
2 Mr. Dirk Van den Berghe serves as permanent representative of Dirk JS Van den Berghe Ltd.
3Mr. Jo Van Biesbroeck serves as permanent representative of JoVB BV.
Until 2021 Lieve Creten (56) had been a partner at Deloitte in Belgium for more than 20 years, developing the M&A practice for national and international investors in different sectors. From 2008 to 2019 she headed the company’s Financial Advisory activities as a managing partner. During that time, she was also a member of the Deloitte Belgium executive committee and a member of the global executive team of Deloitte Financial Advisory from 2015 to 2021 with specific responsibility for Talent related matters.
Lieve Creten is currently a member of the board, member of the remuneration committee and chair of the audit committee at Barco NV, a member of the board and member of the audit committee at Elia Transmission Belgium SA/NV and a member of the board of OCB Doctors without Borders.
Ms. Creten obtained a master’s degree in Business Engineering at the Catholic University of Leuven (Belgium) and is a postgraduate in fiscal sciences. She has been a chartered accountant since 1995. Ms. Creten is the permanent representative of Lieve Creten BV.
John Gilbert (59) has extensive experience at JP Morgan Chase & Co., working there for nearly 30 years until 2014, including 8 years as Managing Director and Senior Country Officer at JPMorgan in Europe where he was managing JP Morgan’s investment banking activities in the Benelux and Nordic regions and 6 years in London where he served in a variety of roles including as a leading investment banker in the European TMT sector and being named head of Belgium investment banking in 2004. Mr. Gilbert started building his career at JP Morgan with 14 years of investment banking experience in New York.
Mr. Gilbert also served as a member of the JP Morgan EMEA Philanthropy Foundation committee and as a senior business sponsor for seven multi-year grants from the foundation into the Benelux and Nordic regions, among other philanthropic and charitable activities.
Mr. Gilbert is currently Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer of The Conservation Fund in the US. The Conservation Fund’s mission is two-fold: to maintain America’s most important natural and cultural resources and to support sustainable economic development.
Mr. Gilbert graduated from Duke University (Durham, NC) with a bachelor’s degree in public policy, summa cum laude.
Dirk Van den Berghe
Until 2021 Dirk Van den Berghe (58) held top management positions at Walmart Inc., with his most recent post being Executive Vice President and Regional CEO for Asia, Canada and Global Sourcing. He specifically managed Walmart’s investment in Flipkart, a prominent e-commerce and fintech platform in India, and supervised Walmart’s e-commerce partnerships and retail activities in Canada, China and Japan. He was also Senior Vice President and CEO of Walmart Canada from 2014 to 2016. Before joining Walmart, Mr. Van den Berghe worked for the Delhaize Group (now Ahold Delhaize NV) from 1999 to 2014, where he held several SVP positions and was appointed CEO of Delhaize Benelux in 2011.
At the start of his career Mr. Van den Berghe worked for ten years as a trade diplomat.
He is currently Chair of the Board of Directors of the Very Group Ltd. (United Kingdom and Ireland), an independent director and chair of the remuneration committee at GoTo Company (Indonesia) and an independent director of the Colruyt Group (Belgium). He was formerly a director of JD.com Inc., (China) and director and chair of the nomination committee at the Flipkart Group (India).
Mr. Van den Berghe obtained a doctorate in Economics at the University of National and World Economy (Sofia, Bulgaria) and a master’s degree at Ghent University (Ghent, Belgium). He was also a guest professor at McGill University, Hong Kong University, IIM Ahmebadabad, Solvay Business School, Ichec and many other universities. Mr. Van den Berghe is the permanent representative of Dirk JS Van den Berghe Ltd.
Madalina Suceveanu (51) has held several senior managerial positions at Vodafone Group PLC since 2014, including CTO of the European Cluster, Turkey and Egypt and CTO of Vodafone Ireland. She was responsible for supervising the implementation of technology strategies and investments, facilitating innovation and talent management in seven Vodafone markets in Europe, as well as Egypt and Turkey. Since 2019 she has also been responsible for the technological integration of the activities of Vodafone in CEE and Germany after the acquisition of Liberty Global’s telecoms business in July 2019. She has also served as Chief Networks Officer at Vodafone in Germany since October 2021.
Ms. Suceveanu will be employed as Managing Director, Mobile and Cloud at Liberty Global as of April 1st, 2022.
Prior to her career at Vodafone, she took on various responsibilities at Orange Romania S.A. between 1997 and 2013, with her most recent position being Chief Technology Officer, which she held for 3 years.
Ms. Suceveanu was also a member of the board of directors of the Vodafone Ireland Foundation, Orange Foundation, Netshare Ireland and SIRO, a joint venture between Vodafone Ireland and the nation's state-owned electrical utility, ESB.
Ms. Suceveanu obtained a Master of Science diploma at the Electronic and Telecommunication Faculty of the Polytechnic University of Bucharest (Romania). In 2017 Madalina Suceveanu was recognized by Silicon Republic 2017 as one of the top 25 female leaders in technology in the world.