Buhari Hails Ogunsanya’s Appointment as Airtel Africa’s CEO

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President Muhammadu Buhari has hailed the appointment of Mr. Segun Ogunsanya as the Managing Director/ Chief Executive Officer of Airtel Africa Plc.

Airtel Africa Plc, provider of telecommunications and mobile money services, with presence in 14 African countries, Nigeria inclusive, has announced the Managing Director and CEO of Airtel Nigeria, Ogunsanya, as the CEO of Airtel Africa.

In his reaction, the President, in a statement issued yesterday by his Media Adviser, Mr. Femi Adesina, said the flag of Nigeria had been hoisted proudly across the African skyline once again with Ogunsanya’s elevation.

Congratulating Ogunsanya, the President said the appointment has once again proven that Nigeria has a surfeit of quality professionals, who can hold their own in any part of the continent, and even beyond.

He stated that with the cognate experience of the new MD/CEO for Africa, which spans consulting, banking, fast moving consumer goods, and telecommunications, he would acquit himself creditably in his new role, and repeat the strides that made him position Airtel Nigeria as the second largest telecommunications company by revenue, serving over 50 million customers.

Buhari urged younger Nigerians to draw inspiration from Ogunsanya, saying with focus, dint of hard work, and resourcefulness, they would reach the peak of whatever careers they have chosen for themselves.

“The reward for hard work is more work,” the President said as he wished Ogunsanya greater successes ahead

Ogunsanya will succeed Mr. Raghunath Mandava following the retirement of Mandava, who had since informed the Board of his intention to retire.

Ogunsanya will join the Board of Airtel Africa Plc with effect from October 1, 2021.

Ogunsanya joined Airtel Africa in 2012 as Managing Director and CEO of Aitel Nigeria and has been responsible for the overall management of its operations in Nigeria, which is the largest Airtel market in Africa.

Ogunsanya has more than 25 years’ business management experience in banking, consumer goods and telecoms. Before joining Airtel in 2012, he held leadership roles at Coca-Cola in Ghana, Nigeria, and Kenya as Managing Director and CEO. He has also been the Managing Director of Nigerian Bottling Company Ltd (Coca-Cola Hellenic owned) and Group head of retail banking operations at Ecobank Transnational Inc, covering 28 countries in Africa. He is an electronics engineer and also a chartered accountant.

Mandava will be retiring as Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer, as a Director of Airtel Africa Plc and as a member of the Market Disclosure Committee on 30 September 2021.

According to the telecoms company, arrangements have been made to ensure a smooth transition of responsibilities.

Following his requirement, Mandava will be available to advise the Chairman, the Airtel Africa Board and the Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer for a nine-month period.

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Airtel Nigeria said it would soon announce the appointment of a new Managing Director and CEO of Airtel Nigeria, who will replace Ogunsanya.

Announcing the appointment of Ogunsanya, the Chairman of of Airtel Africa, Sunil Bharti Mittal, said: “We are delighted to appoint Segun Ogunsanya as the Group’s next Chief Executive Officer. He has displayed significant drive and energy in turning around the Nigeria business by focusing on network modernisation, distribution, and operational efficiency. It is this commitment, together with his industry experience, strategic vision, constant customer focus and proven record of delivery that will enable him to continue to deliver our strategic objectives and to lead the Group in the next stages of its development.”

According to him,” On behalf of the Board I would like to thank Raghu Mandava for being instrumental in successfully leading and transforming Airtel Africa into a powerhouse telecommunications and mobile money company. Throughout that time, Raghu has worked tirelessly first to repair and then to strengthen Airtel Africa’s business and to champion our stakeholders. As we look forward to Segun assuming his new role in October 2021, we do so from a position of great strength as a result of Raghu’s highly effective stewardship.”

Mandava said: “I am thankful to Airtel Africa for providing me and my team the opportunity to transform the business and fulfil our responsibility to the countries in which we operate. It has been a privilege to serve in the African continent and I cherish my time here. Airtel Africa is a remarkable business with fantastic people. Having been at Bharti Airtel for 13 years and at Airtel Africa for 5 years as Chief Executive Officer, I feel now is the right time to take a sabbatical.

The last five years have been an exhilarating journey where we have been able to turnaround and transform the business into a strong high growth and profitable company. We have been able to build the business with our unique management and problem solving approach to bring in substantial performance improvement.”

Ogunsanya said: “Having been part of the Airtel Africa journey for the past nine years, I am looking forward to taking up the role of Chief Executive Officer. On a personal note, as an African, I feel honoured to have the opportunity to lead a Group that continues to make a difference to millions of people, bridge the digital divide and expand financial inclusion. This is an exciting opportunity to position Airtel Africa for further success in a dynamic continent full of potential. I look forward to building on the achievements of the last five years during Raghu’s leadership.”

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