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Surprise as Stenbeck steps down from Kinnevik

Cristina Stenbeck, the main shareholder of Swedish investment firm Kinnevik, has stepped down from her role as executive chairman in order to find new investment opportunities in the education, healthcare and, fintech sectors.

Cristina Stenbeck, the main shareholder of Swedish investment firm Kinnevik, has stepped down from her role as executive chairman in order to find new investment opportunities in the education, healthcare and fintech sectors.

According to a company statement, the 39-year-old will also leave the board of telecom and media firm Millicom, Kinnevik's second-biggest holding, which she also chairs. Tom Boardman, who has been director of the investment board at Kinnevik since 2011, has been named as her replacement.

"It’s been an extraordinary journey of intense work and significant successes. Kinnevik is today stronger than ever, with a great set of assets both in mobile and digital services and the strongest balance sheet in its history,” Stenbeck said in the statement.

She added: “I will continue to support the Kinnevik team as it delivers on all its long-term commitments to its shareholders and investee companies as a non-executive director of the board. As a lead shareholder representative and active owner, I also intend to lead the nomination committee work.”

Stenbeck rose to prominence after the death of her father Jan, the founder of Kinnevik, in 2002 and assumed leadership of the group the following year. In 2007 she became chairman.

Some highlights from her decade at the top include consolidating the ownership of the group and a series of divestments of peripheral businesses in order to reduce leverage and increase transparency.

The New York-born businesswoman concluded that she will stay on as a non-executive member of Kinnevik's board, and also lead its nomination committee. She will also stay on Millicom's nomination committee.

Earlier this month, Stenbeck said she would leave the board of German online fashion retailer Zalando, Kinnevik's biggest holding, which she had chaired since 2014.

Members of the Stenbeck family control almost half of the votes in Kinnevik, which posted revenues of $6.3 billion in 2014.

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