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Celcom Axiata names Mohamad Idham Nawawi CEO

Celcom Axiata has appointed Mohamad Idham Nawawi (pictured) to the role of CEO, effective 1 September 2018. He replaces Michael Kuehner, who will step down on 31 August 2018, having served in the role since September 2016.

This succession is part of Celcom’s original plan two years ago, to appoint an internal talent for the next phase of its transformation. Idham is currently group chief corporate officer at Axiata Group and has over 20 years of experience in the telecommunications and IT industry in the region. Prior to joining Axiata, he was chief operating officer of Packet One Networks in Malaysia and head of strategy and corporate affairs for Indonesia’s Axis Communications. He also helmed various senior management positions at Maxis.

“Following a well-structured Axiata Group and Celcom succession planning and a thorough selection process, the Celcom board had concluded that Idham is best positioned to take over from Kuehner,” the press statement read.

It also described Idham to be an internal talent with “excellent management and operational experience” within the group, adding that he is already knowledgeable about the company’s strategic directions, challenges and operations. “The board is confident Idham will be able to move quickly and efficiently to execute on the next phase of transformation,” the company said.

Celcom also said that Kuehner has made “enormous contributions” through his vision and “relentless drive” to transform the company into a modern, agile and digital organisation. His core strategy to provide the best customer experience in the industry saw Celcom achieve significant improvements in many areas in products and services, network quality and coverage especially in the deployment of 4G, sales and distribution as well as digitisation, the company said.

“We are pleased to welcome Idham as Celcom CEO. With his vast leadership and notable accomplishments in many roles, I am confident he will lead Celcom to the next level of transformation into a digital world as well as to pursue our profitable growth strategy,” Tan Sri Jamaludin Ibrahim, chairman of Celcom and president and group CEO of Axiata, said.

He added that Idham’s decades of industry experience and familiarity of Celcom, will help him to move quickly in the transition. He also thanked Kuehner for his “immense contributions” and for positioning the company “solidly” for great opportunities ahead.

Meanwhile in March this year, Celcom’s CMO Zalman Aefendy Zainal Abidin joined Hong Leong Bank as chief marketing and communications officer. Celcom’s spokesperson confirmed his exit from the company to A+M. According to his LinkedIn, Zalman had been with Celcom for over 14 years.

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