Etisalat appoints head of international business as its acting group chief executive

The UAE's biggest telecoms company, Etisalat, has appointed the chief executive of its international business, Hatem Dowidar, as acting group chief executive.

Mr Dowidar is replacing Saleh Al Abdooli, who is stepping down as chief executive for personal reasons. Mr Al Abdooli has been associated with Etisalat for nearly three decades, joining the company in 1992 after completing his master’s degree in telecommunications from the University of Colorado in the US.

From 2007 to 2012, he was the head of Etisalat Egypt. He also led Etisalat’s UAE operations from 2012 until 2016, after which he became group chief executive.

Mr Dowidar joined Etisalat in September 2015, having previously worked as Vodafone Group's chief of staff in London. He became chief executive of Etisalat's international business in March 2016.

In a brief statement. Etisalat Group's chairman Humaid Al Tayer and the company's board thanked Mr Al Abdooli "for the efforts he made and the accomplishments achieved for Etisalat Group during his tenure as group CEO and his 28 years of service to the company".

Last month, Etisalat in April reported a 1 per cent year-on-year rise in first quarter revenue to Dh13.1bn. Net profit after federal royalties, however, fell 2 per cent to Dh2.2bn due to higher depreciation and amortisation charges, a rise in financing costs and foreign exchange losses. The operator's aggregate subscriber base expanded 5 per cent to 150 million during the first three months of the year. Its UAE subscriber base also grew to 12.7 million.

The company's full-year profit to equity holders for 2019 stood at Dh8.69bn on revenue of Dh52.19bn.

Updated: May 20, 2020 02:01 PM