Wim Vanhelleputte. Photo: Uganda Securities Exchange/Archive
Addis Abeba – Safaricom Telecommunications Ethiopia PLC (STEP) gets a new Chief Executive Officer to replace its outgoing CEO, Anwar Soussa, who will depart the company effective 31st July 2023.
The telecommunication company announced that Wim Vanhelleputte will be the new CEO effective 1st September 2023.
“Wim brings extensive leadership experience and deep industry knowledge, having worked in the telecommunications industry across multiple markets in sub-Saharan Africa for over 25 years,” Safarcom PLC said.
He joins Safaricom Ethiopia from MTN Group, where he was the Operations Executive – Markets since August 2022 and was responsible for the performance and governance of four operating companies in West and Central Africa, the announcement added. Prior to that he was the CEO of MTN Uganda, a role he held from 2016.
“Wim brings extensive leadership experience and deep industry knowledge, having worked in the telecommunications industry across multiple markets in sub-Saharan Africa for over 25 years,” Safaricom PLC said.
According to Ugandan media, during his tenure that MTN Uganda the company “recorded tremendous growth, with the subscriber numbers surging from merely 8.5million to 16million. It also doubled the network towers to 3000 sites countrywide to boost service delivery to the customers. Similarly, revenue grew by 75% during the same period under review.”
Other portfolios he held include, CEO of MTN Cote d’Ivoire and Cluster CEO for Airtel DRC and Congo.
The Belgian national began his career as an Associate Engineer at Westinghouse Energy Systems Europe in Czech Republic, before joining Siemens Atea as a Project Engineer in Zimbabwe, then as a Residential Project Manager in Gabon, according to Safaricom PLC. “As Wim joins us, we have planned for a seamless transition to ensure that we maintain our momentum so far in delivering our vision to transform lives through a digital future for all Ethiopians.”
Wim will join Safaricom Ethiopia in the backdrop of a major announcement by the World Bank Group’s International Finance Corporation (IFC) and Multilateral Investment Guarantee Agency (MIGA) earlier this of plans for a $157.4 million equity investment in Global Partnership for Ethiopia BV (GPE) and a $100 million A-loan to its wholly owned subsidiary, Safaricom Telecommunications Ethiopia Private Limited Company (Safaricom Ethiopia).
The decision came less than a months after the National Bank of Ethiopia (NBE) issued a mobile money service license on 11 May to Safaricom M-Pesa Mobile Financial Service Plc, making it the first foreign investor in the industry to get licensed. AS