Smile Telecoms engages Farroukh as New Group CEO

Smile, pioneer 4G LTE telecommunications service provider in West Africa has appointed Ahmad Farroukh as its Group Chief Executive Officer and Irene Charnley as its Deputy Chairman.

Their appointments would take effect on the 1st of June, 2019.

Commenting on the appointments, Mohammed H. Sharbatly, Smile’s Co-Chairman and Group CEO of Smile’s majority shareholder, Al Nahla Group of KSA, said, “The Africa telecoms market is as dynamic as it is challenging, and Ahmad is suited to lead Smile’s next exciting phase of growth, as we have transitioned from a spectrum rich upstart to the fastest, most reliable data gigabyte factory in Sub-Sahara Africa. We are equally delighted that Irene will continue to serve the company she founded as Deputy Chair, and we look forward to her ongoing strategic direction and guidance.”

Also speaking, Irene Charnley noted that Smile is poised toward achieving profitability and creating value for stakeholders, stressing that Ahmed is the right man for the job.

“The next phase for Smile will focus on delivering excellent operational returns, achieving profitability and creating value for all stakeholders, and I believe that Ahmed is best suited to lead the Company forward in this regard”, Ms. Charnley said.

Mr. Farroukh, who currently serves as Smile’s Group Executive Director — Operations, is a seasoned and experienced telecoms executive with a distinguished record of commercial and operational success.

His vast experience extends to executive management positions at Investcom Holdings and the MTN Group (where he served as CEO of MTN Nigeria, MTN South Africa and Group Chief Operating Executive, responsible for 19 countries) and immediately prior to joining Smile, as CEO of Mobily, Saudi Arabia’s second largest telecommunications operator. Given the extent of the opportunity and the significance to Smile, Mr. Farroukh will spend the majority of his executive time in Nigeria.

Known as one of Africa’s most successful business leaders, Smile Telecoms founder and shareholder, Irene Charnley has led the Company’s innovation and pioneering of Africa’s first 4G LTE network infrastructure, using low band spectrum in 800MHz band. Thereby revolutionising the way people in Africa accessed high speed internet.
After 12 years at the helm, Ms. Charnley will now serve as Deputy Chairman for the Company and will fulfill a strategic role.



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