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Michael Kuehner is the new Celcom CEO, two new Deputy CEOs announced

Axiata Group Berhad announced that Celcom Axiata 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.

Michael Kuehner, the new Celcom CEO, effective 1 September 2016

Michael Kuehner, the new Celcom CEO, effective 1 September 2016

Michael Kuehner, who was the CEO of Robi Axiata Ltd in Bangladesh (2009 – 2013), will be appointed as the new CEO of Celcom effective 1 September 2016. 

Dato’ Sri Shazalli Ramly, currently still the CEO of Celcom, will move on to a new and larger regional role effective 1 September 2016. He will oversee Axiata’s Southeast Asia operations as Regional CEO.

Shazalli has been with Celcom for the last 11 years. His current tenure, which expires by year-end, will be extended for another three years. Shazalli 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).

Michael is a Board member of three other Axiata’s operating companies, namely Robi, Smart and edotco. He was until recently the Chairman of the edotco Executive Committee. He had key roles in multiple countries in Asia Pacific, including India, Japan and Malaysia.

With more than 30 years’ experience, his most notable positions include:

  • Chief Executive Officer & Managing Director, Robi Axiata Ltd., Bangladesh, 2009–2013
  • Head of Region, NSN India, Nokia Siemens Networks, India, 2007–2009
  • Head of Subregion, NSN Japan/Korea, Nokia Siemens Networks, Japan and Korea, 2007
  • Managing Director, Siemens Public Communication Networks Ltd., India, 2005–2007
  • Senior Vice President, Siemens Malaysia, Malaysia, 2000–2005

According to Axiata, he fundamentally transformed Robi, rebranded from Aktel, more than doubled its revenue and quadrupled its profit after tax, and by 2012 catapulted Robi from the third to the second position in terms of revenue. Robi had also been identified as one of the top three employers of choice in Bangladesh. Michael holds a Master’s Degree in Mathematics and Economic Science from the University of Cologne, Germany.

Complementing Michael are two new Celcom Deputy CEOs, Azwan Khan Osman Khan and Mohamed Adlan Ahmad Tajudin.

Aged 46, currently on assignment as the COO of Dialog Axiata (Sri Lanka) since January 2013, Azwan will assume the role of Celcom Deputy CEO, Business Operations. This unit will be responsible for sales and marketing, product development, and all of Celcom’s commercial businesses.

Prior to his current position, Azwan was the Group Chief Strategy Officer of Axiata and SVP, Corporate Strategy and Development of Celcom. He was credited as being part of the original team that transformed Celcom in its earlier phase. Azwan was also a key member of the Axiata team that developed the Digital Services blueprint. Prior to that, he was with Boston Consulting Group and Shell Malaysia. Azwan graduated in Engineering from Imperial College of London, UK.

Adlan, aged 46, currently on assignment as CFO of XL Axiata (Indonesia) since September 2011 will assume the role of Celcom Deputy CEO, Infrastructure and Services. This unit will be responsible for all network and IT infrastructure as well as business support services.

Adlan has more than 25 years of professional experience of which 13 years were in senior management positions. He started his career at Arthur Anderson (1993 – 2002), later joined Celcom and was appointed as CFO in July 2005. He took on the role of Celcom’s Chief Corporate Officer in May 2009, which included the enterprise business unit before taking on the XL CFO role in Indonesia. Adlan graduated in Economics and Statistics from University of Exeter, UK.

Assisting the Celcom CEO and the two Deputy CEOs are three other key senior positions – Chief Financial Officer (CFO), Chief Human Capital Officer (CHCO) and Chief Transformation & Digital Officer (CTDO)

Jennifer Wong, currently Deputy CFO of Celcom 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 Chief Human Capital Officer (CHCO). He will replace Darke M Sani who will return to his Group Chief HR position fulltime effective the same date. Azmi was the Head of HR for Maxis for 10 years (2002 – 2012). Later, he was made the Head of Compliance, Regulatory and Government Affairs of Maxis (2012 – 2013). Prior to Maxis, he was with Standard Chartered Bank. Azmi holds a BSc degree in Finance and an MBA from Indiana State University, USA.

Axiata said that the sixth appointment, Chief Transformation and Digital Officer will be announced soon.

About Kugan

Kugan is the founder of MalaysianWireless. He has been observing the mobile industry since 2003. Connect with him on Twitter: @scamboy