The President, His Highness Shaikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, has appointed Eissa Al Suwaidi as chairman of Emirates Telecommunications Corporation, which is popularly known as etisalat. A veteran public sector business executive, Al Suwaidi has replaced Mohammed Hasan Omran, who served the corporation for a long time and under his leadership expanded its operations to 17 countries. Federal Decree No. 74 dated June 25, 2012 has reshuffled the board of directors of the corporation, appointing six new directors, including Abdullah Salem Al Dhaheri, Mubarak Rashed Al Mansouri and Shoaib Mir Hashim Al Khoory, Abdullah Mohammed Saeed Ghobash, Essa Abdulfattah Kazim and Mohammed Hadi Ahmad Abdulla Al Hussaini. On the Abu Dhabi Securities Exchange, the share price of etisalat, with a volume of 1.2 million shares, remained unchanged at Dh9.20 on Tuesday. In addition to his new appointment, Al Suwaidi serves as the Chairman of Abu Dhabi Commercial Bank. He is also serving as an executive director at the Abu Dhabi Investment Council and sits on the boards of the Abu Dhabi National Oil Company for Distribution, International Petroleum Investment Company, Abu Dhabi Fund for Development and Emirates Investment Authority, or EIA. Al Suwaidi holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Economics from Boston’s Northeastern University. “I am honoured to have been given the challenge of leading one of the leading telecommunications companies in the region,” he said. “Etisalat has become a provider of innovative solutions that help transform communities and accelerate economic growth and social development.” The new chairman said he would establish etisalat as the “integrated telecommunication company of choice across our markets.” Etisalat’s net profit dropped 0.5 per cent in first quarter on higher expenses. The telco’s net income fell slightly to Dh1.81 billion in the quarter ending March, down from Dh1.82 billion in the same period a year earlier. Etisalat is one of only three Middle East companies to be included in the world’s top 500 brands according to Brand Finance, with a brand value of $3.117 billion. Etisalat is a corporation 60.03 per cent owned by the EIA, which is owned by the UAE government, and the chairman and government board representatives are directly appointed by Shaikh Khalifa by a federal decree.