Vodafone Group confirmed e& CEO Hatem Dowidar would join its board as a non-executive director on 19 February, as it successfully secured necessary regulatory approvals.

The appointment comes around nine months after the companies announced a strategic deal involving Dowidar taking a board seat under the terms of an agreement also covering joint commercial activities and developing a technology roadmap.

Both companies deepened ties after it emerged e& had built its stake in Vodafone since May 2022: it currently stands at 14.6 per cent.

If its stake rises above 20 per cent, e& will also be given the opportunity to nominate an independent non-executive director.

Dowidar is no stranger to Vodafone, having held various leadership positions at the company, including stints as the CEO of its Egypt and Malta businesses. He has been CEO of e& since 2020.

Vodafone chair Jean-Francois van Boxmeer said Dowidar’s appointment will strengthen its strategic partnership with e&.

The pair’s relationship has, however attracted the attention of UK authorities.

Last month, Vodafone was ordered to establish a committee to oversee any work deemed to have an impact on national security, with its relationship with e& flagged as a potential risk.