Telecommunications operator Smart Axiata has appointed a new chief executive officer, Ziad Shatara, who replaces Feiruz Ikhwan, who was appointed acting CEO in October 2021 after having served as the Company’s chief financial officer (CFO) since 2018.
Ziad brings a wealth of industry experience having held senior management positions in telecommunications companies in multiple countries, including Jordan, Bangladesh, and Italy. He most recently served as the CEO of Umniah Mobile Co., a leading telecommunications operator in Jordan.
In addition to a solid track record in building, operating, and expanding telecommunications operations, Ziad also has many years of functional experience across the spheres of information technology, customer experience delivery, and retail operations.
He holds a Master of Science in Electrical and Electronic Engineering and a Bachelor of Science in Electrical Engineering from Budapest University of Technology and Economics.
Tan Sri Dr Halim Shafie, Chairman of Smart Axiata and Director of Axiata Group Bhd., welcomed Ziad to his new role at the helm of Smart. “The board of Smart Axiata is indeed privileged to announce the appointment of an industry leader of Ziad’s caliber as the CEO of Smart,” he said.
Dr Hans Wijayasuriya, Joint Acting Group CEO of Axiata and CEO of the Group’s Pan-Asian Telecommunications Business, congratulated Ziad on his appointment. “We look forward to the next phase of Smart’s journey as the market leader in Cambodia under Ziad’s leadership,” he said.
“The team at Smart are proven champions and Ziad will no doubt bring to bear his extensive industry experience to build upon the growth platform and power brand established by his predecessors Feiruz Ikhwan and Thomas Hundt, who led the company from 2013 to 2021 prior to his appointment as Axiata’s Group Chief Technology and Strategy Officer.”
Soon after assuming his new role, Ziad expressed his excitement to contribute his expertise to the further development of the company and the broader ICT sector in Cambodia.
“It is my honor and privilege to have joined Smart Axiata. My predecessors, along with the team at Smart, have built a market-leading organization that is proud to serve over 7.5 million Cambodian citizens with a wide range of telecommunications and digital services,” he said.
“I am excited by the opportunity to lead this great team through the next phase of Smart’s evolution and to deliver on our role within the nation’s Digital Cambodia agenda while continuing to delight our customers with services of the highest quality.”
Tan Sri Dr Halim also praised the company’s former Acting Chief Executive Officer for his efforts in leading the company for the past year.
“On behalf of the board of directors of Smart Axiata and the entire team at Smart Axiata, I would like to take this opportunity to extend our gratitude to Feiruz for his immense contribution to the business and the sterling role he played in leading the company in the capacity of acting CEO over the past year delivering growth amidst evolving industry dynamics,” he said.
“Furthermore, nurturing future leaders as well as solidly positioning Smart Axiata for great opportunities ahead. We wish him all the very best in his next phase in a senior role within the Axiata Group of Companies.”
Smart is part of Axiata Group Berhad, one of the leading telecommunications groups in Asia, with a presence in Malaysia, Indonesia, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Cambodia, Nepal, Myanmar, Thailand, and Pakistan and over 150 million subscribers.
In pursuit of a vision to be the “Next Generation Digital Champion”, Axiata has transformed from its origins as a Regional Mobile Communications Champion into a Group of Companies furthering Three Pillars of Growth and Innovation: Digital Telco, Digital Businesses, and Digital Infrastructure.
Smart Axiata Co., Ltd., currently serves 7.5 million subscribers under the 'Smart' brand. Smart Axiata is part of Axiata Group Berhad, one of Asia’s largest telecommunications groups.
Smart is at the forefront of mobile technology advancement in Cambodia. Smart was the first network to introduce 4G LTE in 2014, 4G+ in 2016, 4G+ with HD Voice (VoLTE) and LTE Advance Pro in 2017.
In mid-2019, Smart hosted the first 5G live showcase in the Kingdom, manifesting its mobile data leadership position. Smart also provides 2G, 2.5G, 3G and 3.75G mobile services as well as international roaming across more than 190 countries.
Its extensive nationwide network coverage stretches to 99 percent of the Cambodian population. The company is also rapidly transforming itself into a digital lifestyle brand, having introduced many innovative offerings and lifestyle entertainment value propositions.
This includes various international brand partnerships with Universal Music, Apple and Facebook, as well as digital services including Smart Insurance, SmartPay, Pleng by Smart, Pi Pay and SmartNas. Smart aspires to be the number one communication tech brand in Cambodia, while having a strong corporate social responsibility and sustainability agenda for national socio-economic growth. [Partnered Content]