The Board of Directors of Etisalat Nigeria today announced the appointment of Matthew Charles Willsher as its new Chief Executive Officer. Willsher previously held the position of Chief Commercial Officer and Acting Chief Executive Officer replacing previous CEO Steven Evans in August 2013. In under a year of his leadership Etisalat has recorded over 20% growth in its customer base, increase in spend per customer, significant strengthening of margins, and has maintained the No. 1 position on Customer Satisfaction.
Matthew Willsher, a physics graduate from the prestigious University of Oxford with a Masters in Management from McGill, started his career in brand management at Procter & Gamble. He joins Etisalat Nigeria with over 20 years in telecommunications. Prior to Etisalat Nigeria, he was Executive Vice President, Marketing at Etisalat Group from 2011 to 2013. He also served as Chief Marketing Officer and Head of the Consumer Business from 2008 to 2011 at Maxis, the leading telecommunications operator in Malaysia, an innovative operator that overtook the incumbent operator in Malaysia to become number one.
From to 2005 to 2008, he was Chief Operating Officer in CSL Limited, the largest mobile operator in Hong Kong; and before this, he spent 4 years at Telstra Australia where he occupied a number of leadership positions. Willsher’s blue-chip career also includes managing a range of consumer products for BT in the UK, leading marketing for BT’s mobile operator joint venture with LG Telecom in South Korea.
Mr. Hakeem Belo-Osagie, Chairman of Etisalat Nigeria said, “Matthew’s creativity and deep understanding of emerging markets has played a pivotal role in Etisalat’s strengthened market position in the highly competitive telecommunications industry. He brings with him the vision, passion and years of experience from diverse environments which have sustained the execution of our priorities providing superior customer experience, sustained network quality and increase in our operational excellence. We look forward to the continued leadership that he has brought to the company”.
Since joining the company in 2013 as acting Chief Executive Officer, Etisalat Nigeria’s market position has been reinforced with an increased focus on sales channels, customer service, segment marketing and new self service-channels increasing operational efficiency. Willsher’s leadership has also realized a wide variety of innovative programs including the first loyalty proposition in the Nigerian telecommunication industry, Etisalat GEM; the first of its kind educational tool in the youth market, Cliqlite; as well as the launch of the new state of the art gold series flagship experience centres, a revolutionary retail experience driven by the essence of the Etisalat brand.
The operational performance of Etisalat Nigeria has also been substantiated with transformation of its IT operations being accredited with the ISO Quality Standard and continuous recognition as offering the best quality. The sustained investment in quality of service is evident in the sole exemption of Etisalat from the recent NCC ban on other telecommunication providers.
Etisalat Nigeria has continued to be a leading contributor to Nigerian culture and content promoting Music with platforms such as Etisalat Cloudnine and Nigerian Idol, Arts & Culture with Africa’s first pan-African prize for debut fiction the Etisalat Prize for Literature, and a focus on sustainable development joining the recently inaugurated Nigerian Regional Network of the World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD).