Toriola Assumes Duties as CEO of MTN March 2021

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By Emma Okonji

MTN Group has appointed Mr. Karl Toriola, from Osun State, as the Chief Executive Officer (CEO)-designate, with effect from March 1, 2021.

Announcing the appointment yesterday, MTN Nigeria said Toriola would drive the MTN brand in his country, and that the March 2021 date would provide enough time for an orderly handover.

Toriola, on the assumption of duty in March next year will become the second Nigerian, after Mr. Michael Ikpoki, from Delta State, to occupy the position of CEO of MTN Nigeria, since it was established in Nigeria in 2001.

The Chairman of MTN Nigeria, Dr. Ernest Ndukwe, said: “After a thorough and rigorous selection process, we are delighted to welcome Karl back to MTN Nigeria.

“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.”

The current CEO of MTN Nigeria, Mr. Ferdinand Moolman, will exit his role on March 1, 2021, and assume a new role as MTN Group Chief Risk Officer.

Moolman joined MTN in 2002 and has held several senior positions within the group, in Nigeria and Iran.

Commenting on his new appointment, 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.”

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 oversaw 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 made significant commercial and strategic strides.

These include the improvement of market shares within the region and the development of mobile financial services.

Since joining the group in 2006, Toriola has also held some senior operational roles, including Chief Technical Officer of MTN Nigeria, CEO of MTN Cameroon and MTN Group Operations Executive. Toriola has at various times in his career in MTN Group had oversight responsibility of 16 of the 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.

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 Programme in Harvard Business School.