France Telkom Orange announced in November 2015 it was exiting the Kenyan market by selling its 70% stake in Telkom Kenya. Helios Investment Partners were announced as the new owners who will take over the operations edging out Viettel Group of Vietnam. Today, the new team to spearhead the turnaround was unveiled as well as the new structure of the firm.
Aldo Mareuse, a 52-year old Frenchman will serve as CEO of the firm. The new CEO previously served as managing partner for Accelero Capital, a telecoms fund and CFO of Orascom Telecom Holding and Wind Telecom Holding. John Barorot, who previously worked in the telco at the beginning of his career will take over as Chief Technical and Technology officer. The telco will certainly tap into Barorot’s knowledge of the local markets having worked in senior positions at Airtel Kenya, Safaricom and most recently as a director at Equity Bank’s Equitel, a position he has since relinquished. Francois Bresson will serve as the company’s Chief Finance Officer.
Telkom Kenya will have four key divisions going forward including Mobile Division, Fixed/Enterprise Division, Wholesale Division and Real Estate Division. The new divisions will allow for the running of a lean and streamlined structure each with its core goals. The Mobile business division will be headed by Amer Atwi, who previously served as Managing director of Gambian telco COMIUM. George Mokogi, the company’s current Chief Carrier Services Officer will head the wholesale division while the Fixed and Retail divisions heads will be announced later.
The company says it now has a strong management team capable of expediting the mandate they have set out for them by shareholders. The firm is also looking to eliminate any bureaucracies within its operations including in decision-making as a means of remaining innovative. Telkom Kenya also sees its massive infrastructure across the country as core in allowing it to quickly deploy and scale operations. The CEO says he foresees challenges in changing the current perception most individuals have of the company, as not capable of competing or innovating. To tackle this, the Telkom Kenya CEO says the company will offer “Good Products” for the market across all segments. The firm is looking to apply for 4G License, to allow it roll-out LTE 4G. On its website, the firm has also advertised various positions for its mobile money service offering, which signals a possible aggressive push in the segment.
We shall definitely watch how this plays out and if indeed Telkom Kenya wins in this market.