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Abu Dhabi, UAETuesday 13 November 2018

Etisalat appoints ex-Telefonica chief executive as board member

Juan Villalonga is co-founder of a private equity firm that invests in growth-stage companies
Etisalat names Juan Villalonga as a board member to fill one of the seven seats assigned to EIA. Etisalat

Etisalat, the UAE's biggest telecommunications service provider, appointed Juan Villalonga - the former chief executive of Spain's Telefonica - as the final board member of the seven seats assigned to Emirates Investment Authority, the representative of Government shareholding in the company.

Mr Villalonga is a co-founder and partner at Hermes Growth Partners, a private equity firm specialising in investments in growth-stage companies. As the former executive chairman and chief executive of Telefonica Group in Madrid, he grew the company’s market capitalisation from $12 billion to over $100bn.

“EIA had already appointed six directors at the beginning of the current board term, which started on March 21,” according to Etisalat's regulatory filing with the Abu Dhabi Securities Exchange on Sunday.

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Mr Villalonga, who was a partner at McKinsey and Company, is also a member on the advisory boards of Lutetia Capital, I Squared Capital and McKinsey New Ventures.

Etisalat based in Abu Dhabi, which operates in 16 countries and is majority owned by the Government, made a profit after federal royalty of Dh2.2bn in the three months ending June 30. The company's second-quarter global subscriber base of 144 million expanded by 4 per cent from the year-earlier period but remained unchanged from the first quarter.