Boris Nemsic, CEO Vimpelcom

Having built a portfolio of smaller operations in Central and Eastern Europe as the CEO of Telekom Austria, Boris Nemsic moved in April this year to Vimpelcom, the second-placed Russian carrier that has a portfolio of interests in the CIS as well as Vietnam and Cambodia. The move was a big step up—Telekom Austria had 16.8 million users when Nemsic left compared to Vimpelcom’s 60.9 million.

Nemsic’s immediate responsibilities have involved the integration of Vimpelcom’s Russian mobile operations with the firm’s newly acquired fixed asset, Golden Telecom. And with 3G licences recently awarded in Russia, his experience of managing high speed mobile data networks in Austria will also prove valuable. Mobilkom Austria (the mobile arm of TA)  was generating one third of its revenues from data services when Nemsic moved on, and had been the first European player to offer commercial HSDPA services.

Since moving to Moscow, Nemsic has offered little indication of any further expansion plans for Vimpelcom, suggesting that the current financial climate makes speculation unwise. But it would be a surprise if his skills at building a regional portfolio were not one of the attractions for his new employers. His move this year came at the third time of Vimpelcom’s asking.

Nemsic served at Telekom Austria in one capacity or another for 13 years, so he’s not a flighty man by nature. Only persuaded to leave TA when he believed he had fulfilled all of his obligations, Vimpelcom’s growth pattern under his guidance will be interesting to watch.

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