Malaysia-based Axiata Group appointed independent non-executive director Ghazzali Sheikh Abdul Khalid (pictured) as interim chairman, taking over the role vacated in early August by Azman Mokhtar.

Khalid, who has been on the board for ten years, is chairman of the group’s two South Asian subsidiaries: Robi Axiata in Bangladesh; and Ncell in Nepal. He is also chairman of the Axiata Foundation, an independent organisation set up to administer and govern the Axiata Young Talent Programme, the group’s flagship corporate responsibility progamme with a commitment of MYR100 million ($24.3 million) over ten years and a focus on developing talent and nurturing future CEOs.

“We are delighted to have him to step into the role as interim chairman to ensure smooth succession and continuity at board level,” Axiata president and CEO Jamaludin Ibrahim said in a statement.

Mokhtar served as chairman for ten years. Under his leadership, Axiata’s customer base increased from 40 million to close to 350 million with a presence in 11 countries, making it the second largest telecoms group within ASEAN and South Asia.