Home / Zain Iraq CEO sidelined as reshuffle continues

Zain Iraq CEO sidelined as reshuffle continues

CEO of Zain's Iraq operation moved to an advisory role having been replaced by the telco's chief financial officer

Zain Iraq CEO sidelined as reshuffle continues
Zain's Barrak Al Sabeeh, who will be recently appointed Group CEO Nabil Bin Salamah’s “on-the-ground representative” in Iraq.

The reshuffle of Zain's top-level executive team continues, with the CEO of the firm's Iraq operation replaced by the telco's chief financial officer.

Ali Al Dahwi, who was the head of the operator in Iraq for six years, has been "appointed special advisor on Iraq for the Zain Group", according to a statement released by the operator yesterday.

Zain said the management of its Iraq operation will now fall under the "direct supervision" of recently appointed group chief executive, Nabil Bin Salamah, who replaced outgoing group CEO Saad Al Barrak.

The recent reorganisation of Zain's executive team began when Al Barrak resigned at the start of the year, following the decision to sell the group's African assets, which ran contrary to Al Barrak's ambition to turn the Kuwait- based telecom group into a major global player.

Al Barrak, who was replaced at group level by Bin Salamah, Kuwait's former Minister of Communication, Electricity and Water, in February, remains as CEO of Zain Saudi Arabia.

Barrak Al Sabeeh, who has the title of Zain's CEO of Business Development, Government and International Relations, will be Bin Salamah's "on-the-ground representative" in Iraq. Wael Ghanayem, the newly-appointed Zain Iraq CFO, will take on the additional role of acting CEO until a new CEO is officially appointed.

Zain said the move was made "on the basis of the company's long term development in Iraq and will not necessarily mean a change in the strategic direction set out by Al Dahwi".

At the end of last year, Al Dahwi told CommsMEA that Zain Iraq's priority in 2010 would be to continue to bring in "newer and more advanced", data-driven technologies into Iraq, to boost internet penetration in the face of "non- existent" fixed line infrastructure.

If the deal to sell Zain's African assets (excluding Morocco and Sudan) to Indian telco Bharti is finalised, Zain Iraq, with over 10 million users, will be the telco's largest operation by subscriber base.

It will also be one of the most significant contributors of revenue; during the first nine months of 2009, Iraq was responsible for 32% of total revenue generated by the group's six Middle East operations, pulling in slightly more than the much higher spending market of Kuwait.

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