Former MTN South Africa CEO Ahmad Farroukh is joining pan-African telecommunications group Smile as executive director for operations with immediate effect.
Farroukh quit MTN in July 2015 to take up the top job at Saudi Arabia’s second largest telecoms operator, Etihad Etisalat, which trades as Mobily. At the time of his departure, MTN said he was leaving for personal and family reasons.
Farroukh joined MTN in 2006, with the South African-headquartered group’s acquisition of Investcom. He fulfilled several roles during his tenure with MTN, including as CEO of its important Nigerian operation, vice president of the West and Central Africa region and group chief operating executive responsible for 19 countries.
“Given the extent of the opportunity and the significance to Smile, Ahmad will spend the majority of his executive time in Nigeria,” Smile said in a statement. It’s a market he knows well from his time at MTN.
“The African telecoms market is as dynamic as it is challenging, and Ahmad Farroukh is perfectly suited to lead Smile’s next exciting phase of growth, as we have transitioned from a spectrum-rich start-up to the most reliable data gigabyte factory in sub-Sahara Africa,” said Smile CEO Irene Charnley, who is herself a former top executive at MTN.
Smile, which was founded in 2007, has operations in Nigeria, Tanzania, Uganda, the Democratic Republic of the Congo and South Africa. The company is majority owned by Saudi-based Al Nahla group. The company claims to have the 4G/LTE commercial network in Africa operating in the 800MHz band. — (c) 2017 NewsCentral Media