Axiata Chairman Steps Down after 10 Years of Service and Building One of the Largest Telecommunications Groups in Asia
Kuala Lumpur, 03 August 2018 – Axiata Group Berhad (Axiata or the Group) today announced that Tan Sri Datuk Wira Azman Hj. Mokhtar has stepped down as Chairman, Non-Independent Non-Executive Director and representative of Khazanah Nasional Berhad after ten years of exemplary service and being the visionary leader behind Axiata’s growth and expansion since its inception in 2008.
Under Tan Sri Azman’s stewardship, Axiata had firmly established itself as one of the largest telecommunications groups in Asia. In the ten years till end December 2017, Axiata’s customer base had increased from 40 million to close to 350 million with presence in 11 countries, making it the second largest telecommunication group within ASEAN and South Asia. Within the same period, its revenue more than doubled to reach RM24 billion. The Group’s market capitalization improved 1.8x from RM28.3 billion at its initial public offering in 2008 to RM49.6 billion at end December 2017.
Tan Sri Azman, as Chairman, had established global best practices in institutionalising the highest principles of accountability, transparency and governance. Over the years, Axiata has consistently received accolades in these areas. In the past five consecutive years, Axiata received numerous recognition for excellence in corporate governance from the Minority Shareholders Watch Group (MSWG) at its annual ASEAN Corporate Governance Recognition Awards, and in 2017, Tan Sri Azman was the recipient of the Chairman of the Year Award. Axiata was also runner up of the PwC Malaysia Building Trust Award 2017.
Tan Sri Ghazzali Sheikh Abdul Khalid, Senior Independent Non-Executive Director of Axiata said, “Tan Sri Azman’s vision, business acumen and professionalism had led Axiata to become a regional champion and an institution with a very strong governance practice. As Chairman, he always ensured that we carried out our fiduciary duties in accordance with the highest accountability, and at the same time creating long-term value for our stakeholders.”
Tan Sri Jamaludin Ibrahim, President & Group Chief Executive Officer of Axiata added, “When we first started in early 2008, Tan Sri Azman gave us the mandate to make Axiata, then TM International Berhad, a Regional Champion by 2015. That evolved into a grand vision to establish Axiata as a truly ‘multinational company’, to proudly carry the Malaysian flag across the region, and to become one of the best professionally run companies to achieve exceptional performance and integrity. By the end of 2015, we successfully achieved this vision and have been recognised as such by the industry as well as investors, globally.
“One thing I will always remember is Tan Sri Azman’s consistent advice to management to focus on creating long-term value for shareholders rather than focusing purely on short-term profits, which would have been easier to achieve. Hence, business sustainability and growth is as important as short-term financial performance. He certainly doesn’t like short cuts.”
Jamaludin added, “It must be said that Axiata could not have attained its leading position within the industry without the guidance, support and encouragement from Tan Sri Azman as our Chairman. He was also instrumental in inspiring us to work on our new vision of becoming the New Generation Digital Champion within the next five years.
“On behalf of the Board, management and employees of Axiata across the region, and I personally, express our heartfelt appreciation and gratitude to Tan Sri Datuk Wira Azman Hj. Mokhtar for his 10 years of Chairmanship and leadership of the Group.”
Axiata is one of the leading telecommunications groups in Asia with approximately 350 million customers and with a presence in 13 countries. In pursuit of its vision to be the New Generation Digital Champion by 2021, the Group has transformed itself from a holding entity with a portfolio of pure-play mobile assets into a Triple Core Strategy driven business with the focus on Digital Telco, Digital Businesses and Infrastructure.
Within ASEAN and South Asia, Axiata has controlling stakes in market-leading mobile and fixed operators in the region including ‘Celcom’ in Malaysia, ‘XL’ in Indonesia, ‘Dialog’ in Sri Lanka, ‘Robi’ in Bangladesh, ‘Smart’ in Cambodia and 'Ncell' in Nepal. The Group also holds strategic interests in ‘Idea’ in India and ‘M1’ in Singapore. Axiata is in the cusp of transforming its mobile operations into Digital Telcos through digitisation and convergence.
‘edotco’, the Group’s infrastructure company, operates in six countries to deliver telecommunications infrastructure services, amassing approximately 27,500 towers. Presently the 12th largest independent tower companies globally, it aims to be one of the top regional telecommunications tower companies and is committed to responsible and sustainable business operations.
Axiata Digital and Axiata Business Services are the digital businesses arms of the Group. Together, these businesses are focused on capturing the rapid growth in digital financial services (‘Boost’), digital advertising (‘ada’), enterprise solutions/IoT (‘Xpand’) and platform services (‘APIgate’) with user access to global markets.
As a committed and long-term investor, Axiata provides employment to 25,000 people within its operations. In line with its sustainability goals, the Group actively supports and drives young talent development; disaster response and recovery; as well as green initiatives. Axiata’s broader goal Advancing Asia pieces together the best in the region in terms of innovation, connectivity and talent.