STC CEO to step down in October

03 April 2012 |


The CEO of Saudi Telecom Company (STC), Saud Al-Daweesh, is to step down this October after his resignation was accepted by the board on Monday.

No reasons were given for his departure and his successor is yet to be named.

In a statement on the company’s website, Al-Daweesh was praised for growing the business to reach 160 million customers. Al-Daweesh was first appointed CEO in 2009.

However, according to Reuters, in January the company reported a 19% drop in net profits to 7.67 billion riyals ($2.1 billion). This decline can be attributed to the company’s focus on growing its international operations, with revenue outside of the kingdom accounting for 32% of STC’s group total - someway short of its 50% target.

The company’s international operations includes a 35% stake in Turkish operator Oger Telecom, while it also holds licences in Bahrain and Kuwait and, further afield, owns part of Indonesian firm Axis. In October, the Saudi incumbent announced that it also planned to extend its portfolio of international licences in the Middle East, north Africa and Asia.

On the domestic front, STC has faced stiff competition from rival Mobily, a subsidiary of UAE incumbent Etisalat. The two companies launched LTE network services almost simultaneously in September of last year, marking the first 4G offers for the Middle East region. STC plans to cover 65% of Saudi Arabia with its LTE network by the end of 2012, and 95% by the end of 2014.