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Zain appoints Saint-Marie as new CEO

By Emeka Aginam
The Board of Zain Nigeria, has   announced the appointment of a new Chief Executive Officer, Mr. Alain Sainte-Marie.
Mr. Alain Sainte-Marie replaces Mr. Bayo Ligali who, according to the Board of Directors of the company, has moved on to pursue other interests after a three-year stint as CEO of the telecommunications company.

With this development, Sainte-Marie will immediately assume leadership of Zain Nigeria, overseeing the company’s continuing market expansion and quest for industry leadership.

Prior to his appointment as CEO of Zain Nigeria, Sainte-Marie who has over 24 years of working experience in Information Technology business, was the Managing Director of Zain Gabon, a position he took up in March 2009.

As Managing Director of Zain Gabon, he helped to sustain the company’s market leadership position and maintain its streak as the operation with the highest ARPU amongst ZAIN Africa operations despite the entry of a fourth mobile operator and rise in the tide of competition in the African country.

Notably, he worked in Nigeria between November 2008 and February 2009 as Special Adviser to the former CEO, assisting him to implement a business transformation process including culture change, a key requirement for a successful turnaround of the operation.
Sainte-Marie has also previously occupied other strategic management positions within Zain including Director of Operations, Middle East and previously as CEO of IRAQNA (a Zain Group acquired operation in Iraq), a position he occupied until June 2008.

He also worked held several senior positions in the leading telecom companies including the position of Chief Financial Officer of ORASCOM Telecom, Tunisia SA (OTT); Chief Financial Officer, ORASCOM Telecom Holding S.A.E, Head of Budgeting Controlling and Planning Department, France Telecom Mobile, Lebanon, S.A.L (FTML), and Deputy Chief Financial Officer, France Telecom Mobile, Lebanon, S.A.L (FTML).

The outgoing CEO, Bayo Ligali, has been instrumental to the transformation of the company in the past three years.
Ligali, a Fellow of the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (UK) and an Associate of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Nigeria, joined Zain (formerly Celtel Nigeria) in October 2006 after a long career in the Fast Moving Consumer Goods (FMCG) industry, which saw him rising to the position of CEO of the Unilever Group in East Africa.

During his three year stay at Zain Nigeria, Ligali re-invigorated the once subdued telecommunications company and galvanized the workforce into committing to reclaiming the top position in the telecommunications industry.


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