Safaricom Telecommunications Ethiopia PLC, a subsidiary of Kenya’s leading telecom operator Safaricom PLC, has announced the appointment of Wim Vanhelleputte as its new Chief Executive Officer effective 1st September 2023.
Wim Vanhelleputte is a seasoned telecom executive with over 25 years of experience in the industry across multiple markets in sub-Saharan Africa. He joins Safaricom Ethiopia from MTN Group, where he was the Operations Executive – Markets since August 2022 and he was responsible for the performance and governance of four operating companies in West and Central Africa.
“We are pleased to announce the appointment of Wim Vanhelleputte as the Chief Executive Officer of Safaricom Telecommunications Ethiopia PLC. Wim brings extensive leadership experience and deep industry knowledge, having worked in the telecommunications industry across multiple markets in sub-Saharan Africa for over 25 years,” said a statement from Safaricom PLC.
Wim Vanhelleputte has also served as the Chief Executive Officer of MTN Uganda, a role he held from 2016 to 2022. Prior to that, he was the CEO of MTN Cote d’Ivoire from 2009 to 2015. He has also held senior roles in various other telecommunication companies including Chief Executive Officer at Sentel GSM in Senegal, Managing Director of TchadMobile in Chad, and General Manager at Telcel Gabon.
He began his career as an Associate Engineer at Westinghouse Energy Systems Europe in Czech Republic, before joining Siemens Atea as a Project Engineer in Zimbabwe, then as a Residential Project Manager in Gabon.
Wim Vanhelleputte is a Belgian National. He holds a Bachelor’s Degree in General Engineering and a Master’s degree in Nuclear and Solid-State Physics, both from the State University of Ghent. He also holds a Special degree in Power Plant Management from the Free University of Brussels.
“As Wim joins us, we have planned for a seamless transition to ensure that we maintain our momentum so far in delivering our vision to transform lives through a digital future for all Ethiopians,” the statement added.
Safaricom Ethiopia also thanked Anwar Soussa for his contribution as the first CEO of Safaricom Ethiopia. Soussa joined Safaricom Ethiopia in July 2020 and led the company’s successful bid for a telecom license in Ethiopia, which was awarded in May 2021.