The board of ntel on Tuesday announced the appointment of Ernest Akinlola as its new substantive Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer.
Akinlola is a senior executive with over 20 years experience in telecoms media and technology. He joined the fledgling One 2 One telecoms operator in the United Kingdom and was instrumental in establishing a world class internal audit and compliance department.
Akinlola replaces the former and first CEO of ntel, Mr. Kamar Abass, who had to vacate the office to take care of his failing health. As Head of Department, Akinlola led the assessment and subsequent launch of Virgin Mobile UK on the One 2 One network, which proved to be the pioneering Mobile Virtual Network Operator (MVNO) at the time. Following One 2 One’s acquisition by T-Mobile, Akinlola was a key member on the integration team, leading on commercial strategy and growing the wholesale side of the business to launch several MVNO’s focused on specific customer segments. He was an integral member of the team charged with executing Virgin Mobile’s $1.5 billion IPO. Many senior roles followed including leading the transformational roll out of T-Mobile’s store retail programme.
Having led teams in Marketing, Sales, Finance, Strategic Planning, Business Development and Operations in blue chip telecoms companies, Akinlola was headhunted as COO by Lycamobile, the world’s largest international MVNO, to lead its European strategy, successfully expanding into 10 countries within two years.
Following this notable success in Europe, Akinlola focused on Nigeria’s telecoms sector and was approached to lead a major marketing drive for 9mobile, the 4th entrant in a highly competitive telecoms market. As Marketing Director, he spearheaded a range of initiatives that took 9mobile from the 4th ranked operator to the 2nd, in terms of ARPU and active customer base.
Prior to joining ntel, Akinola was a strategic consultant to several blue chip organisations including Blackberry Nigeria, the World Bank, and most recently, provided strategic oversight to Swazi Mobile in formulating commercial strategic plan for the successful application of a 4G VoLTE, 3g ,2g licence in Swaziland, South Africa.
Akinlola is a Fellow of The Chartered Certified Accountants, holds an MBA from Manchester Business School with a first degree in Economics from UEL.
Commenting on his new appointment, Akinlola said: “I am excited to be appointed MD/CEO of ntel, Nigeria’s pre-eminent 4G/LTE network. ntel has tremendous untapped capabilities which can provide a step change in customer experience for large enterprise, SME’s and consumers. I look forward to leading the team in driving innovation and delighting our current and future customers.”