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Just in: Airtel Africa appoints Carl Cruz as CEO of Airtel Nigeria

Carl Cruz Airtel Nigeria CEO

Airtel Africa, a leading provider of telecommunications and mobile money services, with a presence in 14 countries across Africa, has announced the appointment of Carl Cruz as the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Airtel Nigeria.

The appointment which takes effect from 5th May 2023, will also see Mr. Cruz join the Executive Committee as the Regional Operating Director reporting to the Airtel Africa Group CEO, Mr. Segun Ogunsanya as well as the Board of Airtel Networks Limited (Nigeria).

Cruz will be replacing Mr. C Surendran, who was named Airtel Nigeria CEO exactly two years ago on May 5, 2021.

Cruz’s background

According to a statement from Airtel, Mr. Cruz has over 31 years of business and corporate experience from multiple geographies across Africa and Asia.

In his most recent position, Mr. Cruz served as the Chief Executive Officer and Managing Director of Unilever in West Africa, with responsibility and oversight of three listed operating companies, including Nigeria, Ghana, and Francophone Africa.

He was a board member in the role of Executive Director in Unilever Nigeria Plc and a Non–Executive Director on the board of Unilever Ghana representing Unilever as a shareholder.

Prior to this, he was the Chairman and Managing Director of Unilever Sri Lanka, in addition to occupying leadership roles in Unilever Philippines and Hindustan Unilever India. Throughout his career, Mr. Cruz has managed strategic and directional responsibility in sales, distribution, customer and brand development, trade development and commercial engagement.

He holds a Bachelor's degree in Marketing Management from the University of De La Salle, Philippines.

Airtel Africa’s CEO speaks

Speaking on Mr. Cruz’s appointment, Airtel Africa Group CEO, Segun Ogunsanya said:

  • “Mr. Cruz brings to Airtel Africa a wealth of business experience, exceptional track record and strong values. He has a solid record of accomplishment as a strategic and transformational business leader who thrives on problem-solving and building strong teams to deliver business growth. We look forward to working with him to steer our largest region and to deliver on our corporate purpose of transforming lives.”

Airtel Nigeria, with 60.3 million active subscribers as of February 2023 is one of the largest operating units of  Airtel Africa.

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