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Axiata Group names joint acting CEOs as Izzaddin Idris steps down

Axiata Group names joint acting CEOs as Izzaddin Idris steps down

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Axiata Group's president and group CEO Izzaddin Idris (pictured) is stepping down effective 31 May based on a mutual cessation of his service contract between him and Axiata. Succeeding him as interim joint acting group CEOs are Hans Wijayasuria and Vivek Sood, effective 1 June 2022.

Wijayasuria is currently CEO of Axiata's telco business and group EVP while Sood is group CFO. Both will retain their current positions and portfolios. The Board does not expect to make additional structural or senior leadership changes in the near-term.

Izzaddin was appointed to his role on 1 January 2021 after serving as executive director/deputy group CEO of Axiata Group since 24 January 2020. He joined the Board of Axiata in November 2016 as a non-independent non-executive director and was re-designated as independent non-executive director in March 2019.

Axiata’s chairman Shahril Ridza Ridzuan said: “The Board thanks Izzaddin for his wisdom, leadership and contributions in steering the Group over the past two years. He took the helm on 1st January 2021 at the height of the COVID-19 crisis, after serving as deputy Group CEO since January 2020."

Shahril added that Izzaddin has been instrumental in shaping the Group’s strategic response to secure stability and business continuity in the face of daunting and unprecedented challenges across many aspects of its operations. 

“Having served as a member of Axiata’s Board since November 2016, he was steadfast in translating the Axiata 5.0 Vision into execution. He rallied the team, building on Axiata’s modern, agile and digital culture to deliver several significant milestones that have placed the Group on solid trajectory to capture new growth areas for a sustainable future," Shahril added.

Meanwhile, Wijayasuriya is currently responsible for overseeing all telco operating companies across Axiata’s markets in ASEAN and South Asia. Prior to this, he served as corporate EVP and regional CEO, South Asia since 2016. Sood previously led a number of multidisciplinary and multi-cultural teams as EVP and group CMO of Telenor, CEO of Grameenphone Bangladesh, CEO of Telenor India, CFO of Telenor India and COO and CFO of Tata AIA Life Insurance.

"The Board assures all our stakeholders that Axiata has always had a strong culture of succession planning and we are committed towards ensuring a smooth transition and preserving the momentum Axiata has achieved thus far with the Axiata 5.0 Vision. The appointment of Wijayasuria and Sood as joint acting group CEOs will ensure continuity in this situation," Shahril said.

He added that in the appointment of Wijayasuria and Sood, the company has "two industry stalwarts" who are very familiar with Axiata’s businesses. "They are both strongly grounded in our culture and deeply committed to the success of our ventures," he said.

Just yesterday, the Group said it will embark on a three-objective strategy to:

1. Accelerate decarbonisation of its network operations by reducing network energy consumption through enhancing energy efficiency and increasing network renewable energy consumption from self-generation or purchased electricity;
2. Accelerate transformation of its value-chain including tracking of suppliers’ operational carbon emissions; and
3. Delivering an inclusive climate agenda by removing carbon emissions through natural or technological solutions and contributing to decarbonisation solution.

For the financial year ended 31 December 2021, Axiata contributed a total of US$11.1 billion to the GDP of the 11 countries it operates in, and directly and indirectly supported some 700,000 jobs.

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