Axiata promotes internal talent to head up new organization


Kuala Lumpur 22 October 2013 - Axiata Group Berhad (Axiata) today announced key appointments as part of ongoing efforts towards developing talent and strengthening its human capital. As part of this, the Group's Chief Financial Officer (GCFO), James Maclaurin will be vacating his post to move to a new strategic business unit, e.co, as Chief Executive Officer. James will be relinquishing his current role at the end of December 2013, after three years as GCFO, starting his new role with effect from 1 January 2014.

Joining James will be Nashad Emir and Thivanka Rangala, both internal talent from within the Group, as Chief Operating Officer and Chief Financial Officer respectively. The appointments are part of the Group's Talent Management Programme, where identified talent is rotated and moved across operating companies for exposure and experience in the different Axiata companies and markets.

The people movement within the Group has been made possible due the Group's focused efforts in implementing talent strategy and building world-class talent. This is evident in the Group's new business unit, e.co, where the Group was able to tap on internal talent to fill key roles. The new business unit e.co, will own and manage the passive network infrastructure of the Axiata Group as a business and will have subsidiaries in most of our markets. e.co will unlock the value of our assets by driving new levels of operational efficiency in passive infrastructure management and diversifying our revenue streams. James has been the project director for this initiative since the beginning. The business is not new to James having been part of the senior management that set up Helios Towers and Eaton Towers in Africa, now the largest and second largest independent towercos in Africa.

James brought great finance and operations expertise to Axiata. During his tenure, James was instrumental in driving various initiatives including the creation of a synergized group purchasing function and the restructuring of the Group's balance sheet, which saw significant savings for the Group. This included the refinancing of Celcom's RM5 billion Sukuk and the issuance of an innovative MTN (Medium Term Notes) structure which received numerous awards including Finance Asia's Best Islamic deal. During the two years as GCFO, Axiata's share price has almost doubled.

Replacing James will be Chari TVT Chief Financial Officer of Celcom. Chari has been the CFO of Celcom for more than 4 years since May 2009. During his time, he was responsible for many initiatives that contributed to the excellent financial performance of Celcom over the last few years, making it one of the most profitable companies in Malaysia. His replacement as CFO of Celcom will be announced soon. James will continue at Axiata working closely with Chari, to ensure a smooth transition until 1 April 2014. James will continue to sit on the Group M&A committee moving forward.

Dato' Sri Jamaludin Ibrahim, President & Group CEO of Axiata said “Our people are crucial in achieving our goals. We are in a unique position with access to talent from within, developed over a decade of operations in the Asian region. It is this strength in our leadership that has brought us to this very important point in our strategic journey of reinventing ourselves to become a new generation telco. As a result of this major change, we have taken the opportunity to move our leaders around and to give opportunities to ready upcoming talent to take on leadership positions”.

Joining James at e.co will be Nashad Emir, currently the Chief Programme and Customer Experience Officer of Celcom, who has been with the group for over four years, two and a half years in Cambodia and the rest in Malaysia. Before moving to Celcom Malaysia he was previously in Phnom Penh as the COO of Smart Axiata (formerly Hello Axiata). His career saw him being posted to several countries in the region – as Managing Director Draka Philippines Inc., Philippines; Managing Director GE (Aircraft) Engine Services Malaysia; President Director and Country GM, GE Consumer and Industrial, Indonesia and as Quality Director for Asia Pacific Region: GE Consumer and Industrial.

Similarly, Thivanka, currently Head of Regional Development (RD) and Investor Relations (IR) of Axiata, has been with the Group for nearly 17 years, starting in Dialog for over 12 years and at corporate centre for four years. Thivanka was assigned from Dialog in Sri Lanka to Axiata Corporate Centre since June 2009 as VP Group CEO Office and then as Head of RD and concurrently as Head of IR up to now. He spent 12 years in Dialog starting as an accountant and rising up the ranks as Finance Manager, Head of Corporate Finance/ Head of Internet Business, Group SVP for Commercial & Investor Relations and finally as Group Chief Commercial Officer before his move to Corporate Centre.

“I am confident that this team, with their excellent track records, will continue to build value for our shareholders. I am looking forward to working with Chari, our new GCFO, to ensure a smooth transition that continues our commitment to shareholder value enhancement” concluded Dato' Sri Jamaludin.

About Axiata

Axiata is one of the largest Asian telecommunication companies. Axiata has controlling interests in mobile operators in Malaysia, Indonesia, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh and Cambodia with significant strategic stakes in India and Singapore. India represents one of the fastest growing markets in the world. In addition, the Malaysian-grown holding company has a stake in mobile telecommunication operations in Thailand.

The Group's mobile subsidiaries and associates operate under the brand name ‘Celcom' in Malaysia, ‘XL' in Indonesia, ‘Dialog' in Sri Lanka, ‘Robi' in Bangladesh, ‘Smart' in Cambodia, ‘Idea' in India and ‘M1' in Singapore.

The Group's, including its subsidiaries and associates, has over 215 million mobile subscribers in Asia. The Group revenue for 2012 was USD5.7 billion. The Group provides employment to over 20,000 people across Asia. Axiata's vision is to be a regional champion by 2015 by piecing together the best throughout the region in connectivity, technology and talent, uniting them towards a single goal: Advancing Asia.

Axiata was awarded the Frost & Sullivan 2009, 2010, 2011 and 2012 Asia Pacific ICT Award for Best Telecom Group and the Telecom Asia Best Regional Mobile Group 2010 and 2011 for its operations in multiple Asian markets.