MTN Nigeria appoints Karl Toriola as CEO designate

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By Idris Bakare

MTN Nigeria today announced the appointment of Mr. Karl Toriola as the CEO designate. His appointment is effective 1st March 2021, providing enough time for an orderly handover.

Mr. Toriola is currently the Vice President: West and Central Africa (WECA), excluding Nigeria and Ghana, a position he assumed in 2016. During that period, he has overseen the steady progress of the operating companies in the region, notably the turnaround of MTN Ivory Coast and MTN Cameroon. During his tenure, the WECA markets have made significant commercial and strategic strides. These include the improvement of market shares within the region and the development of mobile financial services.

Joining the Group in 2006, Mr. Toriola has also held a number of senior operational roles including Chief Technical Officer of MTN Nigeria, CEO of MTN Cameroon and MTN Group Operations Executive.

Mr. Toriola has at various times in his career in MTN Group had oversight responsibility of 16 of the Group subsidiaries and serves on various MTN boards, including MTN Nigeria.

Prior to joining MTN Nigeria, he was the Chief Operations/Regional Officer for Vmobile Nigeria (now Airtel Nigeria) where he was responsible for operations.

Mr. Toriola obtained a Bachelor of Science in Electronic and Electrical Engineering from the University of Ife, a Master of Science degree in Communication Systems from the University of Wales, and attended the General Management Program in Harvard Business School.

In addition, he has attended several executive development courses at various institutions including Wharton Business School, Harvard Business School, Institute of Management Development and London Business School. He is a Fellow, Nigerian Society of Engineers (FNSE) and Council of Registered Engineers of Nigeria (COREN) as well as a Member, Institute of Directors.

Reacting to his appointment, Chairman of MTN Nigeria, Ernest Ndukwe, said after a thorough and rigorous selection process, he’s delighted to welcome Karl back to MTN Nigeria.

In his word, “Recognised throughout the industry as a highly experienced and well regarded business leader, Karl has been a member of the MTN family for over 14 years and has an intimate understanding of the telco business.

“His appointment further reaffirms the Company’s commitment to succession planning as well as retaining and developing identified high performing executives. With his rich credentials, I am personally pleased that Mr. Karl Toriola is well-suited to lead MTN Nigeria’s Executive Management team through the next stages of growth in the years ahead” he said.

The current CEO of MTN Nigeria, Mr. Ferdinand Moolman, will exit this role with effect from 1st March 2021 and assume a new role as MTN Group Chief Risk Officer.

Recall, Mr. Moolman joined MTN in 2002 and has held several senior positions within the Group, in Nigeria and Iran. He joined the Board of MTN Nigeria in 2014 as Chief Financial Officer (CFO) and became CEO in 2015. Under his leadership, significant progress has been made in stabilising the business and setting it on a sustainable growth path.

Moolman will remain on the Board of MTN Nigeria in his new role as the MTN Group Chief Risk Officer.

“The Board of MTN Nigeria wishes to express its gratitude to Ferdi for his exemplary leadership. He has played a critical role in the Company’s development and success, and while we will miss him, we wish him the best in his new role at MTN Group” said Dr. Ndukwe.

In response, Ferdi Moolman said, “I wish to thank the Board of Directors, Management, our dedicated shareholders and my amazing team, for all of the support you have given me through the years. I am proud of the people of MTN Nigeria and the Company we are building; and while this is a time of great challenge and opportunity, I remain steadfastly confident in the greater potential and future of this nation and the significance of our role within it. It has been my honour and privilege to serve this great Company. I am grateful for my time here and the supportive relationships built over time.”

Commenting on his new appointment, Karl Toriola said, “I am delighted to be returning to serve in my country at such a critical point in history when the services we provide are so important to our national development.

“MTN Nigeria is a great company with exceptional people and extraordinary customers, who place a high value on those services. I have a clear focus on delivering a stellar network experience and enhanced customer service; and look forward to working with an outstanding group of leaders, in and out of government, over the coming years to continue harnessing our capabilities, transforming our relationships and delivering even greater value to our nation and her people.” he expressed