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Game changer

Having announced that he would depart the merged company once the acquisition of Alcatel-Lucent by Nokia is completed, in the interim period CEO Michel Combes continues to exhibit the energy and pragmatic positivity that has seen the under-pressure Alcatel-Lucent claw back business and revenues in the just over two years he has headed the company. On a recent whistle-stop tour to the Middle East, Combes reiterated his belief that the tie-up with Nokia was the right combination at the right time, set to create a “new technology champion”Pic 1

Michel Combes believes the coming together of Alcatel-Lucent and Nokia offers a unique opportunity to create a vendor that will have the strength to commercialise new technological opportunities

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Decisive dozen

This, the fifth instalment of Comm.’s Decisive dozen list of operator CEOs in the Middle East and Africa, has altered remarkably compared to last year’s, and previous years in fact. Aside from the typical attrition that occurs in senior postings, dramatic events in the 12 months of 2014 also led to personalities slipping down the list, or falling off altogether, as the pressure to continue producing positive results in a challenging environment persisted

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New leader, new brand, new zest

Greg Young was appointed CEO of Ooredoo Oman (then Nawras) in October 2013, replacing founding CEO, Ross Cormack. In recent times the operator has stalled operationally as well as financially having reported shrinking revenues and net profit, wreaking havoc with its share price. Since taking the reins Young has stabilised the telco’s performance and believes he can breathe new life into the operator and watch it fulfil its potentialGreg Young

Prior to his appointment as CEO of Ooredoo Oman in October 2013, Greg Young acknowledges there was a period of under-investment at the company that may have given rise to some under-performance

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Competing to be data king

Coming up to two years since his appointment as Vodafone Qatar CEO in June 2013, Kyle Whitehill has been able to infuse the Qatar cellco with the type of energy associated with Vodafone Group companies worldwide. Investing heavily in people and technology, Vodafone Qatar is carving out a successful niche for itself in this small Gulf market, which stands out as Vodafone’s only direct investment in the Middle EastKyle Whitehill, CEO, Vodafone Qatar (1)

Kyle Whitehill has been CEO of Vodafone Qatar since June 2013, a period in which the company’s share price has almost doubled

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Conquering Africa

IHS has been one of the leading independent tower companies in Africa, and the September 2014 move of over 9,000 sites from MTN Nigeria to a company jointly held by IHS and MTN took the company to a whole new level of operation. Mohamad Darwish, IHS Group Executive Committee Member and founding partner, has a hands-on roll in Nigeria as IHS’ deputy CEO there, and talks to Comm. about the opportunities and challenges resulting from the company’s successes across the continentMohamad Darwish

Darwish says IHS didn’t only come about with co-location solutions, but has long technical experience and expertise in telecom

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News

Orange moves to hold MEA assets under separate entity

Orange reaffirmed ambitions to grow its presence across Africa and the Middle East via acquisition, as the company established a separate holding company for its operations in the regions, effective from this month. The move, which has been mooted for over year, will see Orange launch a holding company for all its assets in both […]

Airtel confirms sale of towers in five markets in Africa, raising US$1.3 billion

Bharti Airtel announced the sale of tower assets in five African countries for US$1.3 billion, which the company said will be used to reduce debt. The company also confirmed it is in the process of further divestment in six other countries, as part of its previously announced intentions to divest tower assets in 13 African […]

Ooredoo Oman appoints CXO

Ooredoo Oman has announced the appointment of Amaal Al Lawati as chief customer experience officer (CXO). Leading the company’s customer engagement strategy, Al Lawati’s role will focus on continuing the growth of Ooredoo’s call centre service, in addition to allocating the right skillsets to drive the evolution of its customer experience. Part of the Ooredoo […]

Facebook chooses Johannesburg for its first office opening in Africa

Facebook opened its first office in Africa to “help businesses connect with people and grow locally and regionally”, and said that activity is happening overwhelmingly via mobile devices. The company’s office will be in Johannesburg and headed by ad agency Ogilvy veteran Nunu Ntshingila, the company’s new Africa head. Facebook’s active user population in Africa […]

Peter Kaliaropoulos appointed to head up Touch

Zain Group has announced the appointment of telecom stalwart Peter Kaliaropoulos as Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of its managed Touch operation in Lebanon. This is the mobile operation Zain manages on behalf the Lebanese government. Kaliaropoulos’ appointment is effective immediately, as former CEO Wassim Mansour returns to a senior management role within Zain Group after […]

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