CAIRO: The Egyptian Company for Mobile Services (ECMS), which trades under the name Mobinil, announced on Sunday a change of leadership, with longtime Chairman Naguib Sawiris stepping down.
“Naguib has been chairman for 10 years and was looking for a change and also for continuity, commented Mobinil CEO Alex Shalaby, who will be promoted to Chairman next month.
Olaf Swantee, head of global mobile operations for France Telecom-Orange, which owns 36.3 percent of ECMS, called the management changes part of the “natural evolution of the firm.
Sawiris is likely to continue playing an active role in the company since Orascom Telecom (OT), of which he is chairman, holds a 33.1 percent stake in ECMS.
Incoming Chairman Alex Shalaby is completing a three-year mandate from Mobinil’s Board of Directors to serve as CEO.
“Alex has the ideal credentials to become chairman, said Swantee, who oversees Orange’s investment in ECMS.
Replacing Shalaby as CEO will be Hassan Kabbani, currently the CEO of Orascom Telecom Algeria. Tamer El Mahdy will be replacing Kabbani as Orascom Telecom Algeria’s new CEO.
The management changes come at a time in which Mobinil is enjoying a surge in the size of its client-base. It recently announced that it services 18 million customers, up from 16 million a year ago.
The firm hopes to launch the number to 20 million by the end of the year.
Mobinil “has always been very, very strong at acquiring customers, argued Swantee.
“We have also seen a very strong improvement in the value side of the business, he added, discussing the significant push Mobinil has made in the last year to grab a larger portion of the high-end market that includes businesses rather than individuals.
The company has invested LE 1 billion to improve its 2G network and to ensure the successful launch of its 3G network expected next week.
This substantial investment in the network is meant, Swantee explained, to work towards providing “perfect voice quality in Egypt, and to “enable Egyptians to start using the Mobile internet.
To achieve these aims, Swantee argued, Orange has made an unmatched commitment to research and development, dedicating 2 percent of its annual ?53 billion revenue to R&D.
Swantee expressed pride in EMCS’s accomplishments and also expressed optimism about the leadership changes.
“Naguib and I have worked well together, he said, “and leveraged the knowledge from Orascom and Orange. Orascom’s expertise in developing markets and Orange’s know-how in mature markets, he argued, have made for a formidable pairing.
Swantee also explained that he and Sawiris gave incoming CEO Hassan Kabbani and three-part mandate upon his appointment.
The first priority for the new CEO is to ensure Mobinil’s continued focus on the client and on customer care. Second is to continue a culture of growth at Mobinil by further extending roots into the marketplace. The third mandate is to keep Mobinil as a leader in pricing competition by running a cost-effective business operation.