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Bahrain’s Batelco CEO leaves with immediate effect


May 22, 2013 9:44 by

Bahrain Telecommunications Co (Batelco), which has suffered a sustained profit slump, said Sheikh Mohamed bin Isa al-Khalifa had quit as chief executive and his predecessor would temporarily re-take the helm.

Sheikh Mohamed became CEO in October 2011, having previously served as deputy chairman. He replaced long-serving Peter Kaliaropoulos, who became Group Chief Executive Officer for Strategic Assignments.

Batelco has now appointed Kaliaropoulos as chief operating officer and he, along with a three-person committee, will lead the telecom operator until a new CEO is hired, it said in an emailed statement on Tuesday. The committee is comprised of three members of the company’s board.

Sheikh Mohamed has left the company with immediate effect. Batelco did not give a reason for his departure, but he was unable to halt a profit slump that the company largely blamed on tougher competition at home.

It competes with units of Kuwait’s Zain and Saudi Telecom Co as well as about 10 internet providers.

Batelco, majority government-owned, has reported declining profits in 11 of the past 12 quarters, with 2012 net profit down 22.2 percent from a year earlier.

The slump has pushed the group to expand abroad and in April it concluded a deal to buy Cable & Wireless Communications’ Monaco and Islands Division, putting Batelco in 10 new markets. It also owns Jordanian telecoms operator Umniah, 27 percent of Yemeni mobile operator Sabafon and minority stakes in internet providers in Kuwait and Saudi Arabia.

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