Du appoints Fahad Al Hassawi as its new CEO

Mr Al Hassawi replaces Johan Dennelind, who left the company in September

Fahad Al Hassawi, acting chief executive of EITC, says the company has enough budget to focus on digital transformation and other focus areas. Antonie Robertson / The National

Emirates Integrated Telecommunications Company – also known as du – appointed Fahad Al Hassawi as its new chief executive, the company said in a statement on Tuesday to the Dubai Financial Market, where its shares trade.

Mr Al Hassawi was appointed as the acting chief executive in September last year and replaced Johan Dennelind, who stepped down for unknown reasons.

The UAE's second-biggest telecoms operator has seen some management changes since the retirement of its long-term chief executive Osman Sultan in 2019.

Last year, the company also appointed telecoms industry veteran and du board member Ahmad Julfar as its managing director.

Founded in 2005, du is 50.12 per cent owned by Emirates Investment Authority, 10.06 per cent by Mubadala Investment Company and 19.7 per cent by Emirates International Telecommunications, with the remainder of shares in public hands.

In January, the telecom increased its foreign ownership cap from 20 per cent to 49 per cent to attract more external investors.

Du declared a 28 per cent fall in net profit of Dh257m for the first three months of the year, compared with the prior year period. However, profit more than quadrupled compared with the fourth quarter of 2020 on the back of an improving economy.

It is also banking on the potential of digital transformation projects and the rollout of 5G to drive growth in the post-pandemic era.

"Digital transformation was always our priority but the pandemic has accelerated our focus and the pace of momentum," Mr Al Hassawi, told The National in an interview in April.