By Emeka Aginam
Zain Group, the leading mobile telecommunications operator in the Middle East and Africa, hasÂ announcedÂ the appointment of Dr. Abdel Malik Al Jaber as CEO of the Zain Levant Region made up of Zain Jordan and PaltelÂ which will soon be rebranded to Zain Palestine.
The newÂ appointment follows the mutual share swap agreement between Zain Group and Paltel that was signed last MayÂ and the approval of shareholders at Paltelâ€™s Extraordinary General Assembly held recently.
In addition to his new role as CEO ofÂ Zain Levant, Jaber has been appointed Acting General Manager of Zain Jordan.
Having led Zain Jordan for the last 14 months, the outgoing CEO of Zain Jordan, Dr. Ahmed Al Shatti, will now take on a new senior role within the Zain Group. Dr. Saad Al Barrak CEO of Zain Group praised Dr. Al Shattiâ€™s efforts and the vital role he played at Zain in Jordan. He added that during his tenure, the company maintained its leadership in the Jordanian market and received various awards, including Al Hussein Decoration for Distinguished Contribution, First Order, in recognition for the companyâ€™s role in serving the local community and its distinguished CSR policy. The Award was the first of its kind to be received by a telecommunications company in Jordan.
Dr Al Barrak noted that the strategic changes of forming a Zain Levant Regional focus and its new management structure are in line with its expansion strategy and its ambition to be a global top ten mobile telecom operator by 2011. This regional team will also be responsible for future acquisitions in the Levant. Zain Group currently has a commercial presence in 24 countries serving 65 million active customers. Once finalized, the merger will see an additional 1.5 million mobile customers from Palestine join the Zain family.
Welcoming the new CEO of Zain Levant to the role, Dr Al Barrak said, â€œDr Abdel Malik Al Jaber is a distinguished leader who has taken the Paltel Group to new heights making the operation a world-class outfit in all facets of its business.
We are confident that he will build on this achievement in further building the new Jordanian and Palestinian entity as the leading telecommunications group in the neighboring countriesâ€.
For his part, Dr. Al Jaber said he was very happy to be assuming the role of CEO Zain Levant and to be working closely with new colleagues at Zain in Jordan. â€œWe are now part of one of the most advanced telecommunications markets in the region,â€ he said. â€œI shall undoubtedly draw inspiration from the rich field of expertise within the country and look forward to working closely with an extremely talented team that has an exceptional track record. They have earned a reputation for being innovative, one that has put Jordan on the global telecom map.â€
Dr Al Jaber added that he plans to build on the successes achieved by Zain in Jordan. â€œThe company will maintain its current momentum. It will continue to place a premium on service and building solid ties within the local community,â€ he said.
Al Jaber added that â€œJordan enjoys a truly outstanding position in the telecom sector in the Arab world and the region inspired by a long term vision of His Majesty King Abdullah with a proactive government that is working hard to ensure that this sector remains a leader for the Kingdomâ€™s economic development. Jordan today enjoys a competitive environment that is unique and has innate potential for growth in the areas of Internet, Content and added value services.â€ Al Jaber added that â€œhe looks forward to working in partnership with the Telecom Regulation Commission and the Ministry of Telecommunications and ICT and all other relevant parties to this sector to help achieve the vision of His Majesty in making Jordan a true Oasis of Technology and Innovation in the region.â€
One the first challenges that Dr Al Jaber will face in his new role is the rebranding of the Paltel Groupâ€™s many operations including its Jawwal mobile operation to Zain. This will take place later this year at which time Palestine will join and become the 19th country to be part of the worldâ€™s first borderless mobile platform, â€œOne Networkâ€ providing preferential communications and roaming benefits across geographical borders.