Adil Youssefi becomes chief executive of Liquid Telecom Kenya as Ben Roberts focuses on group CTO role.

Liquid Telecom this week announced a handful of executive changes, including the appointment of a new CEO to its Kenya operation.

The pan-African telco named Adil Youssefi as the new chief executive of Liquid Telecom Kenya. Youssefi most recently served as managing director of Airtel Kenya, a post he held for three years until his departure was announced in February.

Several local press reports described Youssefi’s tenure at Airtel in less-than-glowing terms, but Liquid Telecom highlighted his extensive experience in the telecoms space. Prior to joining Airtel, Youssefi spent more than five years at emerging markets specialist Millicom; he was CEO of Millicom Ghana for two years and held senior roles at the firm’s operations in Chad and Sri Lanka.

Youssefi has also worked for BT and Philips Electronics.

His arrival at Liquid Telecom Kenya frees up the current holder of the CEO post, Ben Roberts, to focus on his parallel role as group CTO; Roberts will also chair the Liquid Telecom Kenya board.

"I’ll be returning full time to the role of chief technical officer with a considerably expanded network across Africa and a technology landscape that is advancing rapidly," Roberts said.

"My focus will be on running one pan-African network combined with innovation," he added. "Kenya is a perfect placed to be based due to its central African location and lively innovation scene."

Liquid Telecom bought Kenya Data Networks four years ago and has rolled out 5,000 km of fibre in the country, including 600 km in 2016 alone, it noted.

In addition to ringing the changes in Kenya, Liquid Telecom also announced the appointment of a new chief finance officer for East Africa. Willie Fryer will take on the role, filling the shoes of Raj Jandu who is now CFO at Neotel in South Africa.

Liquid Telecom announced the 6.55 billion rand (€390 million) purchase of Neotel, South Africa’s second national operator, last summer and closed the deal earlier this year.