Zain Group, the leading telecom innovator across the Middle East and Africa announces the promotion of Mohammad Abdal as the Chief Communications Officer (CCO) at Zain Group. The newly created executive role will see him head three significant divisions within Zain Group: namely Investor Relations, Corporate Communications, and Corporate Governance & Compliance.
A Kuwaiti national, Abdal is a home-grown success story having joined Zain in 2001 as a finance executive soon after graduation. Over the next 15 years Abdal rose rapidly through the organization; playing a key role in various aspects of the company’s evolution and success from a local operator in Kuwait to becoming the leading telecom conglomerate it is today.
Abdal has led the Zain Group Investor Relations department as its Director since 2008 and in January 2012 was given the added responsibility of overseeing the Group’s Corporate Communications Department. In early 2014, he established the Group’s Corporate Governance division, one of the first companies in Kuwait to fully embrace the new compliance regulations initiated by the country’s Capital Market Authority.
Key milestones in Abdal’s impressive career at Zain include managing two of the largest capital raisings in the history of Kuwait, namely a US$4.5 billion capital rights issue in September 2008 and a US$2.3 billion rights issue in November 2005. Additionally, he has overseen the IPOs and capital restructuring of all Zain entities over the years, including the successful listings of Zain Saudi Arabia, Zain Bahrain and most recently Zain Iraq.
Commenting on the appointment, Zain Group CEO Scott Gegenheimer said, “As a publically traded company in several key markets across the region, Zain places the areas of Corporate Governance, transparency in communications, dealing with capital markets and all stakeholders as top priorities and key functions. Mohammad Abdal has the right qualifications and industry experience to lead this effort for Zain Group and support other Zain operations in their exacting dealings with capital market authorities, telecom analysts, and media across the region. His depth of industry expertise and relationships will be invaluable as we seek to advance our long-term plans targeted at building strong relations with our investors and maximizing shareholder value across all our markets.”
Gegenheimer continued, “It is a particular pleasure to promote a home-grown Zain talent who has an impressive and successful track record to a senior position, fulfilling our human resources policy of capitalizing on and promoting our talented leaders from within.”
As the Chief Communications Officer, Abdal will continue to lead the implementation of corporate governance standards and principles across Zain operations and its related subsidiaries in compliance with the laws and regulations, and best practices. Abdal will also provide the necessary support to board members and executive management on governance issues, and will serve as a liaison between key stakeholders.
The incoming Zain Group CCO, Mohammad Abdal said, “I am honored to have been promoted to this position, and I appreciate the confidence that has been placed in me by the Zain Group Board and senior management. Integrity and transparency are given the highest emphasis in all aspects of Zain’s operations and culture, and my task, with the support of a highly qualified team, will be to ensure that this continues. As we communicate material information in a timely manner, we look to further develop solid relationships with regulatory authorities, investors, analysts, media and other stakeholders in Kuwait and across the region.”
Abdal is a founding member and Chairman of the Middle East Investor Relations Society chapter in Kuwait and a member of the globally recognized National Investor Relations Institute (NIRI). He graduated in 2001 from Portland State University, Oregon, US with a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration with a double major in Finance and Management Information Systems. He has also attended reputable executive programs in recent years that earned him several recognitions as a Certified Investments and Derivatives Auditor (CIDA), a Certified Investor Relations Officer and a Certified Corporate Governance Officer.