The former Telefonica boss will bring a wealth of international experience to the role

UAE based telco, Etisalat, has appointed former Telefonica CEO, Juan Villalonga, to its board of directors.

Villalonga will fill one of the seven seats on Etisalat’s board which as assigned to the Emirates Investment Authority.

Villalonga was CEO of Telefonica from 1996-2000. Under his stewardship the company saw rapid growth in revenues from $12 billion in 1996 to over $100 billion in 2000.

 In addition to its operations in the United Arab Emirates, Etisalat has a strong presence throughout the Middle East and Africa. The company is focussed on expanding its presence in emerging markets in Africa and already has a presence in Gabon, Togo, Ivory Coast and 8 other African nations. The company is also expanding its footprint in Afghanistan and Pakistan.

With his wealth of international experience, Villalonga will be well placed to assist with the company’s expansion overseas, as well as consolidating its position at home.

The UAE boasts some of the biggest per capita data consumption levels in the world and is competing to be one of the first nations in the world to launch 5G mobile networks.