Matthew Willsher named Etisalat CEO

Matthew Willsher, Etisalat. (Image Source:
Matthew Willsher, Etisalat
Matthew Willsher, Etisalat. (Image Source:

Etisalat’s Board of Directors have announced that Matthew Willsher is now in the position of Chief Executive Officer within the company.

Hakeem Bello-Osagie, Chairman of Etisalat Nigeria said, “Matthew’s creativity and deep understanding of emerging markets has played a pivotal role in Etisalat’s strengthened market position in the highly competitive telecommunications industry. He brings with him the vision, passion and years of experience from diverse environments which have sustained the execution of our priorities providing superior customer experience, sustained network quality and increase in our operational excellence. We look forward to the continued leadership that he has brought to the company.”

Willsher has held the position of Chief Commercial Officer and Acting Chief Executive Officer since August 2013 after replacing previous CEO, Steven Evans. Under a year of his leadership, Etisalat stakeholders said that Wilsher has led the company to record over 20% growth in customer base, even as spend per customer and strengthening of margins, have all increased.

Matthew Willsher, a physics graduate from Oxford University with a Masters in Management from McGill, started his career in brand management at Procter & Gamble.

He joined Etisalat Nigeria with over 20 years in telecommunications. Prior to Etisalat Nigeria, he was Executive Vice President, Marketing at Etisalat Group from 2011 to 2013. He also served as Chief Marketing Officer and Head of the Consumer Business from 2008 to 2011 at Maxis, the leading telecommunications operator in Malaysia, an innovative operator that overtook the incumbent operator in Malaysia to become number one.

From to 2005 to 2008, he was Chief Operating Officer in CSL Limited, the largest mobile operator in Hong Kong; and before this, he spent 4 years at Telstra Australia where he occupied a number of leadership positions. Willsher’s blue-chip career also includes managing a range of consumer products for BT in the UK, leading marketing for BT’s mobile operator joint venture with LG Telecom in South Korea.