Etisalat appointed Saleh Abdullah Al Abdooli as its Group CEO, after the departure of the previous chief earlier this month.
The new top man was previously CEO of Etisalat in its home market of UAE. He now adds oversight of its international operations to his remit.
Among other achievements noted was Al Abdooli’s role in the creation of Etisalat Misr in Egypt, which was described as “a great success story in the telecom industry and earned him a great reputation as leader of one of the best third entrants in mobile operation worldwide”.
He has been at the helm of the UAE business since 2012, and since then the business has “achieved several successes and breakthroughs across all fronts including financial, marketing, technical and infrastructure,” Etisalat said.
According to Nishit Lakhotia, head of research at Securities & Investment Company in Bahrain, cited by The National newspaper, it is “not surprising” that the executive has taken on the top role, as Etisalat “tries to replicate the success of the domestic operations at the group level”.
It was also noted that Etisalat is facing challenges in its global businesses which include competitive pressure, regulatory risks and macroeconomic challenges.
Following the departure of Ahmad Julfar earlier this month, Etisalat’s group operating chief, Hatem Dowidar, was appointed acting CEO.
In a statement to Abu Dhabi Securities Exchange, Etisalat said that Dowidar will now report to Al Abdooli, and will be “overseeing international operations”.