Kcell Joint Stock Company (“Kcell” or the “Company”) (LSE, KASE: KCEL; AIX: KCEL, KCEL.Y), the leading provider of mobile telecommunications services in Kazakhstan, announces that on February 6, 2021, its Board of Directors appointed Yuri Kharlamov as Chief Executive Officer, Chairman of the Management Board of Kcell JSC, with immediate effect, and with a term of office of one year from the date of the appointment.
Mr. Kharlamov has more than 20 years’ experience in the telecommunications industry, having held a number of senior level management positions. Since March 2020, he has been Chief Financial Officer of Kcell, and since June 2020, he has served as a member of the Management Board of Kcell.
Mr. Kharlamov graduated from the Moscow Institute of Electronic Technology with a degree in Management and the University of Birmingham with a degree in Finance, and has an MBA degree from London Business School.
The Board of Directors believes that Yuri Kharlamov in his role as Chief Executive Officer and Chairman of the Management Board of Kcell JSC will ensure effective operational performance and continuity of the Company’s strategy.
“I’m grateful to the Board of Directors for the high confidence placed in me and I’ll do my best to justify it, – Mr. Kharlamov commented on his appointment. – I’ve been with the company for about a year. During this time, the whole world has faced unprecedented challenges such as the COVID-19 pandemic and its impact on the level and volume of business activity in Kazakhstan and around the world. Despite this, Kcell demonstrated high financial and operational performance indicators in 2020. Taking into account the signs of a gradual stabilization of the situation in Kazakhstan and provided there are no extraordinary events or situations that could undermine this stability, the Company expects that in 2021 our company will continue the growth trend with good results,” Yuri Kharlamov emphasized.
250+ program is one of the most significant projects to which Kcell JSC directs the generated cash flows. The program aims to achieve a high level of digitalization of the entire population of Kazakhstan by providing access to mobile broadband Internet in rural areas where 250 people or more live. This is a project that changes the social landscape of the country, erases the facets of digital inequality between the village and the city and becomes one of the drivers of the country’s economy.
“Moreover, we’ll continue to successfully develop the joint projects with our majority shareholder, Kazakhtelecom JSC, aimed at increasing the operational synergy, – the Chairman of the Management Board of Kcell JSC says. – The first stage of integration of the companies’ radio networks, which began in the 3rd quarter of 2020, resulted in significantly improved quality of services and network bandwidth; in 2020, we launched successfully our first joint convergent product with Kazakhtelecom JSC, which builds on the experience of the two companies in providing fixed and mobile services, and in the 4th quarter of last year we launched a project to enhance the efficiency of commercial function aimed at improving customer experience,” Yuri Kharlamov emphasized.
Let us recall that on December 21, 2018, Kazakhtelecom JSC acquired the 75 percent stake in Kcell JSC held by Telia Company and Fintur Holdings B.V. For almost two years now, Kcell has been part of Kazakhtelecom group of companies and has been successfully using the benefits of partnership with the parent company in all its activities. The process of integrating its networks with Kazakhtelecom JSC allows Kcell to maximize all potential synergies, so as to facilitate further improvements in technologies and services.
“Each member of Kcell team continues to demonstrate the highest professional qualities and commitment to the mission, thanks to which we continue to provide society with advanced technologies and high-quality services, despite external factors,” Mr. Kharlamov concluded.
Kuanyshbek Yessekeyev, Chairman of the Board of Kazakhtelecom JSC, expressed his hope that the appointment of Yuri Kharlamov as the new Chief Executive Officer and Chairman of the Management Board of Kcell JSC will allow the mobile operator to build on the company’s achievements over the past two years.
“Having regard to the professional achievements and experience of Yuri Kharlamov, the management of Kazakhtelecom, as the majority shareholder of Kcell JSC, hopes that the company will continue to pursue its sustainable development path. And it will achieve, in synergy with Kazakhtelecom, serious results in its highly competitive and high-tech environment,” Kuanyshbek Yessekeyev stated.
The appointment of the new CEO of Kcell was commented by Rashit Makhat, Member of the Board of Directors, Independent Director of Kcell JSC: “The decision to appoint a new CEO is an evolutionary factor and a natural corporate process. With the departure of Kaspars Kukelis, Kcell JSC does not plan to radically change its strategic course. High professionalism and extensive experience in the telecommunications industry give the Board of Directors an opportunity to hope for maintaining the pace of development the company has gained over the past 2 years”.
“Every year, even despite today’s contemporary challenges, the company breaks its own records. The new appointment will provide much-needed momentum for implementation and completion of ongoing and planned strategic projects that will help the operator to improve the quality of services provided throughout the country. Under the leadership of Yuri Kharlamov, I am confident that the company will continue its further growth and development, not only for the benefit of shareholders, but also for the society as a whole,” Dinara Inkarbekova, Member of the Board of Directors, Independent Director of Kcell JSC summarizes.
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