Saleh Al Abdouli, Saeed Al Hameli Image Credit: Gulf News Archive

Abu Dhabi: Regional telecommunications major etisalat said yesterday its board of directors had appointed Saleh Al Abdouli as the chief executive officer for etisalat UAE and Saeed Al Hameli as chief executive for etisalat Misr — an etisalat Group subsidiary.

Both appointments are effective from next April.

An etisalat statement said Al Abdouli, who has been the CEO of etisalat Misr for the last five years, had succeeded in breaking the duopoly in the Egyptian market.

"Despite fierce competition, he has led etisalat Misr from a startup operator to a full-fledged competitor that leads the market in technology, innovation, and growth and sets the standards for competition to adopt and follow," etisalat said.

"In less five years of operation, etisalat Misr today covers 99 per cent of the populated areas in Egypt with its 2G/3G networks and leads the market in 3G broadband [subscribers]," etisalat said.

Al Abdouli is a graduate of the University of Colorado in the United States.

Board support

"I am confident that with his demonstrated leadership abilities, Saleh Al Abdouli will take etisalat UAE to a new level of performance," Mohammad Omran, chairman of the board of directors of etisalat, said while referring to Al Abdouli's appointment.

Al Hameli, on the other hand, has worked both inside and outside the UAE. From 2007 to 2011 he was CEO of etisalat Afghanistan where he achieved excellent business and operational results. He holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Electrical Engineering from the Florida Institute of Technology.

Last year, etisalat's acting CEO Nasser Bin Obood said the company would make a capital investment of up to Dh15 billion over the next five years to expand its infrastructure, which will include investments in information technology and the laying of cables.

"Over the next five years, we plan to spend Dh2 billion to Dh3 billion each year on improving 2G and 3G and [ushering in] 4G, as well as on cables and IT," Bin Obood said at the time.

Headquartered in Abu Dhabi, etisalat is the largest telecommunications operator in the Middle East and Africa with a market value in excess of Dh80 billion ($21.7 billion).

Etisalat operates in 18 countries across Asia, the Middle East and Africa with a coverage area of more than two billion people.