Etisalat announced interim group CEO Hatem Dowidar had taken the role on a permanent basis, after spending almost seven months in temporary charge.

The operator group confirmed the appointment, effective from today (16 December), in a stock market announcement.

Dowidar was temporarily promoted to the role from International CEO in May, when Saleh Al Abdooli left citing personal reasons. The previous CEO had been in place since 2016.

The new chief joined Etisalat in 2015 as Group COO, having previously held a number of roles across Vodafone Group and its subsidiaries. There, he led its divisions in Malta and Egypt before rising to the UK-based operator group’s chief of staff.

Dowidar takes over Etisalat as it continues to roll out its high-speed 5G network, with the company receiving the accolade of offering the fastest speeds in a global assessment of the new network technology by testing company Ookla in October.

Etisalat is also one of the operators competing to win a licence to launch services in Ethiopia.