Axiata Group Berhad announced the appointment of Vivek Sood as its new Group Chief Executive Officer (GCEO) and Managing Director, effective 24 March 2023.
Vivek Sood (picture), 59, an Indian national, was previously the Group Chief Financial Officer (GCFO) of Axiata for almost 6 years.
Axiata has been without a GCEO for the past 9-10 months since Datuk Izzaddin Idris stepped down from the role in May 2022. Since then, Dr Hans Wijayasuria and Vivek Sood were appointed interim joint acting group CEOs effective June 2022.
Dr Hans Wijayasuriya is now the Group Executive Director and CEO of the Telecommunications Business.
Lila Azmin Abdullah has been appointed the Acting Group CFO.
Full announcement from Axiata below:
Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, 24 March 2023 – Axiata Group Berhad (“Axiata” or “the Group”), one of Asia’s leading telecommunications groups, today announced the appointment of Vivek Sood as its new Group Chief Executive Officer (“CEO”) and Managing Director, effective 24 March 2023.
Vivek Sood is an experienced telecommunications executive with over two decades of industry experience in multiple countries. Vivek is no stranger to Axiata, where he has served as its Group Chief Financial Officer (“CFO”) for almost 6 years. Whilst maintaining his CFO role, Vivek was also appointed as one of the joint interim CEOs for the Group last year.
In his new role at Axiata, Vivek will lead the company’s strategic growth initiatives, including the expansion of 5G and digital infrastructure and service offerings. He will also be responsible for driving innovation, improving the customer experience across operating companies throughout Asia and creating value for shareholders.
Axiata also announced the appointment of Dr Hans Wijayasuriya as Group Executive Director (“ED”) and CEO of Telco Business. Hans, a Telecommunications veteran counting 30 years in the industry was also joint interim CEO together with Vivek Sood and has held leadership positions across the Group for many years.
Tan Sri Shahril Ridza Ridzuan, Chairman of Axiata, said: “The Board is happy to appoint Vivek as our new Group CEO and have Dr Hans take the position of Group ED. Their track record of success as our joint interim CEOs puts them in the ideal position to lead Axiata into the future and ensures continuity of our strategies.”
“The completion of the Celcom-Digi merger at the end of last year was due to their skillful leadership in closing a complex transaction. That has created the largest Malaysian telco, under the capable leadership of the best Malaysian talent in our Group. This allows Axiata to now focus on our strategic goals in our other markets, primarily South Asia and Indonesia, and to drive further innovation and value in our digital infrastructure and services businesses.”
Vivek Sood, in accepting the appointment said, “Taking over as new CEO is exhilarating and overwhelming. Axiata is a great company with a clear vision of Advancing Asia, serving its customer and empowering societies. After many years in telco and six years as Group CFO and most recently interim CEO, I understand our goals, aspirations and challenges. With smart leaders and extremely talented employees, I am confident in leading Axiata to an exciting and transformational journey of Telco to TechCo. I am delighted to have Hans as a partner as well as the senior leadership team in this journey. I thank the Board of Axiata in having trust and confidence in me.”
With Vivek’s promotion as the Group CEO, Lila Azmin Abdullah is now appointed as the Acting Group CFO. Lila is currently the Group Chief Corporate Development Officer at Axiata, and she brings with her over 25 years of experience and joined Axiata from UEM Group, where she was the Director of Group Corporate Finance.