Amid the year-long scuffle with the telecom regulator, Norwegian telecommunications company Telenor Group has announced Yasir Azman as the new chief executive officer (CEO) at its Bangladesh operation, Grameenphone.
He will take the office as the first Bangladeshi CEO from February 1, replacing Michael Patrick Foley.
Currently, Yasir Azman is the Deputy CEO and Chief Marketing Officer (CMO) of Grameenphone Ltd.
Michael Foley is being relocated to Africa, where his family is based.
"Yasir Azman has risen through the ranks of Grameenphone and Telenor Group, and I am very pleased that he has accepted to lead our operations in Bangladesh. He is the first home-grown CEO of Grameenphone, so this moment is extra special for everyone in Telenor and in Grameenphone," said Petter-Børre Furberg, chairman of the board of directors of Grameenphone.
"Azman has been responsible for running one of Telenor Group's highest performing commercial organisations while also serving as deputy CEO of the company. I am confident he will continue to deliver great results in his new challenge as CEO," Furberg added.
Michael Foley has served as the CEO of Grameenphone since May 2017. Earlier, he was the CEO of Telenor Pakistan and Telenor Bulgaria.
"Michael Foley has delivered strong financial results in the years he has served as CEO and led an important digital transformation of Grameenphone. I would like to take this opportunity to thank him for his valuable contributions to our Bangladeshi operation and also Telenor Group," added Furberg.
Telenor has made some changes in other Asian countries as well where it has telecommunication operations including Myanmar and Thailand.
The world's largest mobile telecommunication company made these changes especially in Bangladesh to use the opportunities of new leadership, said an official at Grameenphone.
"This move will play a vital role to solve the bitter relation with the regulator and to extend the business," added the official.
In his immediate reaction, the newly appointed CEO also vowed to offer better service with new technologies.
"I am excited and humbled to be offered the role as CEO of Grameenphone. I am a true believer in Digital Bangladesh and our vision of empowering societies, connecting our customers to what matters most. It helps to unleash the true potential of our country. I respect the trust of our 75 million customers, and we shall continue to bring innovation in our services and technology to serve them better," commented Yasir Azman.
Over an audit claim of Tk12,579 crore a bitter relation has developed between Grameenphone and the Bangladesh Telecommunication Regulatory Commission (BTRC).
The telecom regulator has not issued any NOCs to Grameenphone to import network equipment since May 27, 2019.
The operator has since been unable to expand its networks, although they gained many new users last year.
Now, Grameenphone is providing services to its bigger customer base with the previous capacity and infrastructure, deteriorating its service which has caused inconvenience for network subscribers.
The BTRC said on January 14 that among all private mobile operators in the country, Grameenphone has the highest number of pending complaints lodged by its subscribers, which the mobile operator denied.
Meanwhile, shares of Grameenphone plunged by 5.56 percent after the Supreme Court ordered the company to pay Tk2,000 crore to the BTRC. The investors put a large number on sale and the pressure was mounting, making it bad for Grameenphone shareholders.
However, after the news of new CEO appointment, the share price of Grameenphone increased by 6.31 percent.
The closing price of Grameenphone stood at Tk242.20 per share at Dhaka Stock Exchange on Thursday.