Biography: Although he is CEO of a company worth $32.6bn, Mohammad al-Qamzi’s role is largely limited to the development of the UAE domestic market. In this task, he has been hugely successful. The UAE generated revenues of AED13.5bn ($3.7bn) for Etisalat in 2007, 64 per cent of the group’s total revenues of AED21.3bn. Al-Qamzi also succeeding in his primary responsibility of turning those revenues into profits. Etisalat generated twice the net profits of its rival Zain, the acquisitive Kuwaiti telecoms operator, with $2bn in net profits for 2007, compared with Zain’s $1bn.
In part, Al-Qamzi’s task has been made easier by the UAE authorities. When the government decided to end Etisalat’s monopoly in 2006, it awarded a second licence to start-up firm Du. If it had held an open competition, Etisalat may have found itself up against one of its more established regional rivals in its home market.
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Company website: www.etisalat.ae