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Abu Dhabi, UAETuesday 22 October 2019

Du names new chief executive to replace Osman Sultan

The outgoing CEO spent almost 14 years at the helm and will be replaced by Johan Dennelind
Osman Sultan, pictured, will be replaced by Johan Dennelind as chief executive of du. Pawan Singh / The National

Emirates Integrated Telecommunications Company, also known as du, appointed industry veteran Johan Dennelind as chief executive, replacing Osman Sultan after almost 14 years at the helm of the company.

The new chief executive will take charge of the telecom operator in early 2020, du said in a statement to the Dubai Financial Market, where its shares trade. The appointment follows a rigorous international search to find a candidate who could steer the company through the “changing nature of the telecommunications industry”, it said.

“I am delighted that this has resulted in the selection of Johan, who has earned a reputation for delivering results in challenging situations,” said Mohamed Al Hussaini, EITC chairman. “We are confident that his extensive international exposure and experience of managing public companies . will add great value to EITC.”

Mr Dennelind brings 25 years of experience in the telecoms and internet industry. He is currently group chief executive of Telia, the largest Nordic operator and one of the biggest global internet carriers, with €8 billion (Dh32.8bn) of revenues operating across seven countries.

Mr Dennelind has earlier held roles for Telia in the Nordics, Brazil and Sri Lanka, amongst others, after which he was appointed as the deputy chief executive of Telenor in his native Sweden. He later took on roles as the chief financial officer and chief executive of Digi in Malaysia, which was also part of the Telenor Group. Mr Dennelind also oversaw Vodafone and Vodacom’s seven businesses across continental Africa.

Du's outgoing chief executive, Mr Sultan, was instrumental in establishing the company as a strong competitor to incumbent Etisalat in the UAE.

“We thank him for his tireless contributions, vison and unmistakable passion,” du said.

The operator is ramping up its fifth-generation connectivity in the UAE and will have almost 800 5G mobile infrastructure sites by the end of the year to boost network coverage, Mr Sultan said in July.

Mr Sultan, was instrumental in establishing the company as a strong competitor to incumbent Etisalat in the UAE. Charles Crowell for The National

The 5G connectivity will be up to 100 times faster than the 4G network used by more than 3.6 billion mobile internet users around the world. Du’s capital expenditure for the year will be between Dh1.6bn and Dh1.8bn, but Mr Sultan at the time did not disclose how much of that amount would be spent on the development of a 5G network.

The company reported a 2.5 per cent year-on-year increase in the second quarter profits after royalty payments to Dh464 million. Revenue for the reporting period fell, however, by 4.8 per cent to Dh3.19bn.

Du’s first half net income also slipped 5.4 per cent year-on-year to Dh913m, while revenue dropped 5.3 per cent to Dh6.33bn in the same period.

Updated: September 15, 2019 03:48 PM