Following the exit of Abu Dhabi-based telco, Etisalat, from its Nigerian arm Etisalat Nigeria after failing to reach an agreement with a consortium of Banks it owed $1.2 billion, there was a sweeping exit of the previous management spearheading the affairs of the Nigerian telco.
A number of Board Members, drawn from the Abu Dhabi telco immediately resigned their seats on the Board shortly after relinquishing their stake in the Nigerian telco to United Capital, the trustee firm of the consortium of Nigerian Banks that were owed $1.2 billion.
The senior management of Etisalat followed suit, resigning en-masse in the days that followed. Mr. Matthew Willsher, the previous CEO, led the exodus of resignation amongst the senior management. Key roles such as Chief financial officer, previously held by Olawole Obasunloye, were also vacated.
The mass exodus culminated in the resignation of the firm’s one and only chairman, Mr. Hakeem Bello-Osagie. He was largely touted as the promoter of Etisalat Nigeria and is greatly revered for the role he played in leading the Arab telco down to Nigeria.
A New Era
The new set of investors and key stakeholders, including Nigeria’s Central Bank (now a key investor), the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) and the consortium of Banks have wasted little time in forming a new management team.
The Deputy Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, Joseph Nnanna, has emerged as the new Chairman of Etisalat Nigeria, and will henceforth lead the company’s new Board of Directors, according to report by Nairametrics.
Also appointed to the board of Etisalat Nigeria are Mr. Oluseyi Bickersteth, Mr. Ken Igbokwe, Mr. Boye Olusanya and Mrs. Funke Ighodaro.
Mr. Olusanya, who was a former director at Celtel Nigeria (now Airtel Nigeria), will resume office as the new Chief Executive Officer while Mrs. Ighodaro takes over from Mr. Obasunloye as the Chief Finance Officer. Bickersteth and Igbokwe will act as non-executive directors.
Etisalat Nigeria, however, said in a statement that its former CEO Willsher was retained as an adviser to the new CEO Mr. Olusanya until his contract with the company expires in December 2017.