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10 January 2017
| Alan Burkitt-Gray
Saudi Arabian operator Mobily has appointed a new CEO, just two weeks after the company ended its management contract with 27.4% shareholder Etisalat.
The new CEO is Ahmed Abdulsalam Abdulrahman, who takes
office today. He is a former managing director and CEO of
Global Telecom Holding, the new name for Orascom, in addition
to VP for Asia and Africa of VimpelCom, which bought Orascom in
Sulaiman Al Gwaiz, chairman of Mobily’s board of
directors, said: "Mobily has accomplished a great deal of
progress in achieving the goals it set itself in 2015, which
are in line with telecom and IT sector orientation. Mobily is
now aiming to reach an advanced phase of growth and expansion
with the joining of [Abdulrahman]."
Al Gwaiz said he was confident that Abdulrahman’s
"presence in Mobily will have a positive influence on the next
phase of our development."
Abdulrahman replaces Ahmad Farroukh, whose resignation was
announced yesterday. Farroukh had been at Mobily since only
July 2015, having previously been CEO of MTN Nigeria and, from
2014, CEO of MTN South Africa. MTN’s chairman said
in July 2015 that he had resigned "due to personal and family
The news comes only a month after rival operator Zain
appointed a new CEO for its Saudi Arabian
Etisalat announced on 24 December 2016 that it was ending its
management agreement with Mobily and said the two companies
were working on a new contract.
Mobily has had a difficult few years. In 2014 a previous CEO was suspended after an
auditing error led the company to restate 18 months of
previously-announced earnings. Serkan Okandan, group CFO of Etisalat,
stepped in as acting CEO, and the company’s
accounts had to be restated, cutting Mobily’s
profits by more than $960 million.
Etisalat said in on 24 December 2016: "Etisalat Group and
Mobily are currently working on developing a service and
technical support agreement which will take into consideration
Mobily’s requirements for the coming period given
the scale of its operations and customer base."
Mobily said at the same time that the management agreement had
expired "and Mobily and Etisalat Group agreed on the
non-renewal of the same".
Etisalat added: "Etisalat Group and Mobily will continue to
work closely and foster the relation between each other to
enhance the shareholders’ value of both
The new CEO of Mobily graduated from Cairo University in
communication and electronics engineering in 1992. After
working for IBM and for Egypt’s third internet
service provider, he helped to launch Mobinil – now
Orange Egypt – before moving to Orascom. Between 2009
and 2011 he was CEO of Orascom’s Banglalink
Telecom in Bangladesh.