Celcom and Axiata restructure management team

Telecommunications giant Axiata has made significant structural changes across the group with the appointment of two corporate EVP and regional CEOs, three CEOs and a several senior appointments.

Dato’ Sri Shazalli Ramly, currently CEO of Celcom, will move on to a new and larger regional role effective 1 September 2016. Ramly will now be responsible for all Southeast Asia operations and will continue to be a member of the Celcom Board. He will also be appointed to three other boards of Axiata’s operating companies (OpCos). Ramly has been with Celcom for the last 11 years.

The move follows the appointment of Hans Wijayasuriya as the regional CEO for South Asia operations, with a similar unit now being set up to oversee its Southeast Asia operations. The two regional CEOs will now assist the president and group CEO in group-wide responsibilities. As such, Ramly and Wijayasuriya will each carry the new title of corporate EVP and regional CEO.

Taking Ramly's role is Michael Kuehner, CEO of Robi2, who is appointed as the new CEO of Celcom. Kuehner is a board member of Robi, Smart 3 and edotco4, and was until recently the chairman of the edotco executive committee. With more than 30 years’ experience under his belt, Kuehner was with Nokia and Siemens prior to joining the Axiata in 2009. He had key roles in multiple countries in Asia Pacific, including India, Japan and Malaysia. Supporting Kuehner are two deputy CEOs, Azwan Khan Osman Khan and Mohamed Adlan Ahmad Tajudin.

According to a press statement, Celcom will undertake a major organisational refresh with the setup of an executive committee (EXCO) and appointment of six new key senior positions – one from Celcom, three from the Group, one external hire and one to be announced.

Jennifer Wong, currently deputy CFO will be promoted to the CFO position. She will replace Chris Tiffin, who will take on a new strategic project at Celcom. Azmi Ujang, an external hire, will take on the role of CHCO, replacing Darke M Sani who will return to his group chief HR position. The sixth appointment, chief transformation and digital officer will be announced soon.

To oversee the transition, a board executive committee will be established and headed by Tan Sri Jamaludin Ibrahim, chairman of Celcom and president and group CEO of Axiata.

According to a press statement from the organisation, the move is part of its strategy to refresh its management teams, execute its succession plan and strengthen the corporate headquarters to accelerate the group’s transformation into a regional digital company.

Tan Sri Jamaludin Ibrahim (pictured), managing director/president & group chief executive officer of Axiata Group, the refreshing of the management teams was needed to bolster the group’s capabilities in managing new growth and transformation.

“Some changes have already taken place, even before today’s appointments and we expect to make further changes over the next few years,” he added.

The telecommunications company has controlling stakes in market leading mobile operators in South East Asia and South Asia, with companies operating under the brand name of ‘Celcom’ in Malaysia, ‘XL’ in ‘Indonesia’, ‘Dialog’ in Sri Lanka, ‘Robi’ in Bangladesh, ‘Smart’ in Cambodia and 'Ncell' in Nepal.

Axiata also holds strategic interests in ‘Idea’ in India and ‘M1’ in Singapore.