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Appointments - News around Africa - February 22, 2021

APPOINTMENTS: Smile Telecoms Holdings Ltd Reshuffles Management/Leadership Team

Pan-African telecoms firm, Smile Telecoms Holdings Ltd, has announced some significant changes to the composition of its Board of Directors and management team. The changes followed the company’s January 15 Board meeting.

According to a press statement that was seen by Business Elites Africa, prominent South African businesswoman, Ms Irene Charnley, who co-founded Smile Telecoms and served as its Board Chairman for some years, has finally retired. Also retiring from the company’s Board is Mr Mohammed Wajih Sharbatly who co-founded the company and served as Co-Chairman until December last year.

“Today we say farewell to our Founder and Deputy Chairman, Ms. Irene Charnley. We wish her all success in her new endeavors. We also want to say farewell to our Co-Founder and Co-Chairman Mr. Mohammad Wajih H. Sharbatly. May God bless them both,” said Ibrahim H. Sharbatly, Smile Telecoms Holdings’ current Group Chairman.

New Appointments were Made

During the January 15, 2021 Board Meeting, Smile Telecom Holdings Ltd also announced the following appointments:

  • Mr. Osman Sultan has been appointed as Vice Chairman of the Group.  Mr. Sultan, the founding CEO of EITC (du) in the UAE, was at its helm from 2006 until the end of 2019. Before that, he was the founding CEO of Mobinil in Egypt (now Orange Egypt) from 1998 until the end of 2005. Mr. Sultan sits on several ICT Companies and Academic Boards. He has been actively involved with Smile as the Chairman of the Restructuring and Transformation Committee of the Group since July 2020.
  • Mr. Albert Momdjian has been appointed as Board Member of the Group and Chairman of the Group’s Audit Committee. Mr. Momdjian is a former corporate and investment banker with 27 years of corporate Investment banking and restructuring experience primarily in Media and Telecoms across Europe, the Middle East and Africa, having been involved in over USD 100 bn worth of M&A, capital markets and restructuring transactions.
  • Mrs. Caroline Chang, recently appointed as a Board Member of the Group in November 2020, has been appointed as a member of the Group’s Audit Committee. Mrs. Chang is an experienced board member and former EMEA General Counsel of Farallon, the leading US hedge fund that has been active in Africa and Emerging Markets.
  • These nominations come in addition to the appointment of Mr. Raihan Shaikh-Khaleel as Board Member of the Group in September 2020. Mr Khaleel is a Partner at Swinton Capital and an experienced restructuring advisor across EMEA, sitting on various Boards of companies involved in restructurings. He has 20 years of EMEA and other cross border experience, spending the last 10 years restructuring companies for a leading US hedge fund.

While commenting on the changes, the company’s Chief Executive Officer, Ahmad Farroukh, said “I am looking forward to working with the new Board Members and counting on their diverse experience to prepare for the company’s future in the challenging times the industry is going through.”

Note that Smile Telecoms Holdings Ltd is a leading telecoms services providers in Africa, with operations in Nigeria, Uganda, Tanzania, and the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Originally headquartered in Mauritius, the company announced in the statement it released that its Board also reached a decision to relocate its Head Office and Centre of Main Interest (COMI) to England and Wales.

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