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New MTN South Africa CMO a trailblazer in the industry

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Larry Annetts, the incoming Chief Marketing Officer of MTN South Africa
Larry Annetts, the incoming Chief Marketing Officer of MTN South Africa

Larry Annetts, the incoming Chief Marketing Officer of MTN South Africa, is no stranger to the world of marketing, consumer strategy and product development.

Annetts is the current Chief Marketing Officer of MTN Nigeria, MTN’s biggest operation by subscribers with over 57 million subscribers. An accomplished marketer and strategist, Annetts started his career with in 1995 as product manager at MTN SA, this was followed by serving in the start-up team that was responsible for setting up Uganda and Rwanda consecutively.

He has also served as General Manager, Products and Services Development for MTN Nigeria and in this role he designed, implemented and launched the first Mobile Virtual Private Network (VPN) platform in Africa. He also led the team that customised, implemented and launched GPRS and MMS technology for the first time in Nigeria.

After Nigeria, he moved to Iran as the Chief Marketing & Strategy Officer. He distinguished himself in this role by launching the entire suite of products and services for the growing operation, including 30 first-to-be-launched products that spearheaded MTN’s regional growth.

During his tenure at MTN Irancell, Annetts contributed immensely to growing MTN Irancell’s subscriber base, growing MTN customers to over 36.2 million in approximately five years and setting the MTN Group record for the highest number of activations per day.

Annetts’s term in Nigeria was characterized by unprecedented success and a string of glowing accolades for the operation. He inspired and led the most talked about advertising campaign in Nigeria (Saka’s I don port) which earned a global positive sentiment rating of 86%, over 8 million unique mentions and a total earned media value of 4 billion naira in 23 days.

Under his leadership, MTN Callertunez hit the 30 million subscriber mark, with a library of over 12,000 Callertunez from various artists, making MTN the largest distributor of music and related content in Nigeria. He also initiated the first of its kind branded music CD containing music of all MTN ambassadors.

This is in addition to the successful launch of MTN Nigeria AfriNolly app, which is now the most downloaded app developed in Africa boasting over two million downloads which has generated over 24million viewing minutes across all its content category.

Larry’s focused customer management programme led to successful customer win-back and dormancy management with 2.3m post-churn returnees in 2013 alone. His iconic DOLA approach has become a standard approach that has been adopted across all MTN operations.

Under Larry’s inspirational leadership, MTN became the most awarded telecoms brand in Nigeria with 11 awards from highly-rated and reputable groups (Nigerian Telecoms Award, Lagos Advertising and Ideas Festival and the Advertisers’ Association of Nigeria).

Zunaid Bulbulia, MTN South Africa Chief Executive Officer, commented: “We are delighted to have an employee of the calibre like Annetts in our team; we remain confident that the wealth of experience that he brings will bolster our efforts and gain the hearts and minds of our customers.”

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