Etisalat, the UAE\'s number one telecoms operator, overhauled its board on Tuesday, replacing its long-serving chairman, Mohammad Omran, and naming six new directors following a decree by Sheikh Khalifa, President of the UAE.The changes comes as Etisalat, which operates in 17 countries, tries to fend off stiffening competition from domestic rival du and improve the performance of its foreign operations, with the firm reporting declining profits in eight of the past nine quarters. Eissa Al Suwaidi, who holds key positions in other Abu Dhabi entities, has been appointed chairman, replacing Mohammad Omran, who was also Etisalat\'s former chief executive. Mr Al Suwaidi is also the chairman of Abu Dhabi Commercial Bank as well as a director of government-controlled institutions in the emirate such as International Petroleum Investment Co. Omran joined Etisalat in 1977 and was appointed chairman in 2005. The decreee from Sheikh Khalifa also appointed six new board members, including Essa Kazim, the chairman of Dubai Financial Market. Etisalat, the Gulf\'s number two operator, is 60 per cent owned by the Government and these appointees will be the Government\'s representatives on Etisalat\'s board. Shares in Etisalat dropped 0.4 percent on the Abu Dhabi bourse Tuesday. from the national.