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Etisalat Group has announced the appointment of Mikhail Gerchuk as CEO - International and Khalifa Hassan Al Forah Al Shamsi as CEO - Etisalat Consumer Digital. Reporting to Hatem Dowidar - Etisalat Group CEO, Gerchuk and Al Shamsi will help secure the organisation’s growth mandate. Gerchuk will be responsible for providing comprehensive direction to develop and implement the international telco strategy and the accompanying long-term plans needed for practical, maintaining growth across international operations. Al Shamsi’s appointment is part of Etisalat Group’s ongoing digital transformation strategy to significantly expand Etisalat’s digital portfolio by growing the existing business, as well as capturing new opportunities in the consumer market, through its new dedicated vertical – Etisalat Consumer Digital. 

The announcement follows the appointment of Salvador Anglada as the CEO of Etisalat Enterprise Digital in November 2021, to drive digital transformation by enabling enterprises and governments to become smarter through the use of the latest technologies such as Cloud, Cyber Security, Internet of Things (IoT) and AI. Etisalat Enterprise Digital brings together the best industry digital experts, assets and platforms with a unique service and operating model, providing end-to-end digital vertical propositions to enable smarter developments, education, healthcare, transportation and a smarter economy. It has a successful track record in delivering large digital projects and solutions by providing comprehensive services in consultancy, business modeling, solutions design, programme management, execution, delivery and post-implementation support and operation services.

These appointments are a testament to Etisalat’s commitment to accelerate digital transformation and provide outstanding customer experiences while investing in and empowering its UAE national capabilities to excel in their career path of choice. Where Etisalat Enterprise Digital is focused on the strategic growth of its digital offerings to cater to the needs of its enterprise customers, Etisalat Consumer Digital will expand its digital portfolio in the consumer market.

Al Shamsi began his career with Etisalat spanning nearly three decades and has a proven track record in telecom and digital services backed by a solid commercial and technical background. He has had a solid hand in Etisalat’s first move into growing digital adjacencies, leading the deployment of mobile services, fibre-based broadband and advanced data services. He has held several leadership positions within Etisalat Group, including head of mobile networks, chief marketing offices and chief digital officer. His role in building the business unit ‘Etisalat Digital Services’ was paramount to generating new revenue streams and accelerating business growth. In his previous role as the Group chief corporate strategy & governance officer, he was a key contributor to the vision and future strategic priorities of Etisalat Group.

With over 20 years of experience in the telecoms industry, Gerchuk has held several notable leadership roles with Vodafone, MTS, and VEON, covering marketing, product and services development, and launching new business segments. In his most recent role, he was the senior advisor – Telecom, Media and Technology Practice – at McKinsey & Company, London. Before that, he was the VEON CEO for the Eurasia region, where he was instrumental in successfully turning around the decline in business revenue and achieving strong growth, thus increasing profitability dramatically. 

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