In recognition of his tenacious leadership and drive for innovation, Karl Toriola, the CEO of MTN Nigeria, received the 2023 SABRE Africa Certificate of Excellence as CEO of the Year.
Since becoming CEO of the leading technology giant in October 2020, Karl Toriola has spearheaded the organisation’s transition from solely providing telecommunications services to a wide range of technology solutions. During his time in office, MTN Nigeria became the first company in Nigeria to receive the licensing to roll out 5G spectrum commercially. MTN Nigeria was also granted a Payment Service Bank licence to provide financial solutions to Nigerians through MoMo PSB, the fintech subsidiary of MTN Nigeria.
Another milestone for MTN Nigeria during his time as the CEO was the successful closure of the Public Offer. In December 2021, MTN Nigeria became the first Nigerian company to make its public offer of 575 million sales in shares to retail investors through a premiere digital platform during the Primary Offer.
With Karl Toriola as CEO of MTN Nigeria, its revenue doubled from N1 trillion in 2018 to N2 trillion at the end of the financial year in 2022 as the organisation also under his wing achieved its most substantial growth in 2021 and 2022 at 22.9 percent, and 21.6 percent respectively.
When asked to speak about his greatest accomplishments as CEO of MTN Nigeria in a recent exclusive interview, he said, “First of all, it’s a team accomplishment. So, it’s not down to me but the entire team – from the board, right down to everyone working in the organisation. But I think getting MTN Nigeria back to a place where it’s being liked and loved gradually is probably my biggest achievement. It’s a long journey.
Everyone loves to hate two service providers, the telco and the bank, and to get them (customers) to start to like and love you and give you some respect; I think it’s a tremendous achievement,” he continued.
Before his appointment as the CEO of MTN Nigeria, Karl Toriola worked at Ericsson Nigeria in 2000 as a Support and Integration Manager. He moved to Econet Nigeria in 2003 as Deputy Chief Technical Officer before becoming Chief Operations Officer at then Vmobile Nigeria (now Airtel). In 2006 Karl Toriola joined MTN Nigeria as Chief Technical Officer. He was appointed CEO of MTN Congo Brazzaville in 2011 and MTN Cameroon in the same year. He became Vice President of MTN Group’s WECA (West and Central Africa) for five years until he was announced CEO of MTN Nigeria in October 2020.
In addition to CEO of the year, MTN Nigeria also received a Certificate of Excellence at the 2023 SABRE Africa awards in four other categories: Company of the Year as MTN Nigeria, Corporate Image for the launch of MTN 5G, Corporate Social Responsibility for Empowering Female Entrepreneurs through MTN Y’ellopreneur and Special Event/Sponsorship through MTN Football.
The 2023 SABRE Africa awards ceremony was held in Lusaka, Zambia, as part of the 2023 African Public Relations Conference. The annual event, organised by PRovoke Media, celebrates public relations and communication excellence in Africa, particularly in the areas of branding, reputation, and engagement.