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Michael Ikpoki

Multinational Business Enterprise Leader & Manager


Michael Ikpoki is an internationally renowned business leader whose experience and management pedigree has been proven in the running of for-profit enterprises in the very fast moving consumer goods segment (vFMCG). In the last 10 years or so Africa has been the centre of focus to firms seeking to invest successfully in emerging markets, and West Africa has earned its name as a proving ground for the best of business strategies. Michael is an acknowledged expert in establishing as well as growing businesses in the Sub-saharan Africa, especially in West Africa where he’s been spotting opportunities and able to build momentum to tap into each, delivering shareholder value over the medium to long term. Over the last 5 years, Michael has led country operations in two countries being in the top 10 economies in Africa.

In 2011 he became the CEO of MTN Ghana (the the 4th largest telco in the MTN Group) where he led the company through to retain its position as the market leader in a highly commodities and competitive environment. Michael’s bold approach to focussed growth strengthened MTN Ghana’s competitive position culminating in a 21% revenue growth in 2012. In recognition, he was awarded the Telecom CEO of the year award in the prestigious Ghana Telecom Awards that year.

Since 2013, Mike became the CEO at MTN Nigeria, the Largest Subsidiary in the MTN Group and a $4 billion business, contributing 35% of the Group revenue and profits, Michael led the 3,500 person organization responsible for a value chain of 500 interdependent businesses across the country, who individually are either suppliers or part of the distribution chain taking products to end consumers. The strategic importance of MTN Nigeria to the overall Nigerian economy is underscored by its contribution of approximately 50% of sectoral GDP in 2015, at $20 billion.

A lawyer by training, Michael has over 20 years corporate experience including fourteen years in the telecom sector. His six years public service engagement was with the National Telecom Regulatory Authority. Fourteen. years experience was at MTN Group (MTN Nigeria and MTN Ghana) spanned regulatory-advisory, commercial, senior executive and, finally in CEO-Country leadership roles in the last 4-5 years.



Organizational Leadership & Managerial Highlights:

  • Board Experience
  • Public Sector Experience
  • Industry/Commercial Operations
  • General Management and Enterprise P&L Responsibility
  • Aligning operations with Business Strategy
  • Finding and building top talents for leadership.
  • Country Business Management & Leadership Responsibility
  • Teams That Deliver


Michael’s core expertise is in developing and implementing business strategy, with a focus on Africa. He has displayed a mastery of especially change management and transformation strategies to drive short, medium and long-term programs for varying commercial –  including marketing – objectives.
He certainly has also carved a niche as the top business leader when the challenge is for market entry or consolidation in fast moving and intensely competitive industries. His experience is adaptable and invaluable for enterprises with interest to start, build and grow businesses in other sectors in Africa and emerging markets.

Corporate Boards

Shaping strategic direction with Management and Engaging Investors and Shareholder Blocs

Regulatory & External Environment

Including Compliance, Stakeholder Management, & Government Relations.

Commercial Leadership

Including Sales & Marketing Operations Effectiveness

Operational Leadership

Regional or Country level operations.


  • Commercial Strategy.
  • Product Strategy
  • Change Management & Transformation Strategy
  • Go-to-Market Strategy
  • People Strategy
  • Technology Strategy
  • Marketing Strategy

How I Spend My Time

Personal Development
Fitness & Exercise


Core Accomplishments

In my 20+ years professional experience especially in the last decade of leading and managing businesses, I have been active variously in:

  • Developing the introductory legislative framework for telecommunications in Nigeria at the Nigerian Communications Commission(NCC).
  • Leading MTN Nigeria’s growth to a $4 billion business with 60 Million subscribers.
  • Leading MTN Nigeria to make the top 100 Businesses in Nigeria and be recognized as #6 by the Federal Government in 2014.
  • Drove 2 years of intense business transformation and culture change at MTN Ghana, resulting in 21% revenue growth.
  • Under my leadership the MTN Foundation (In Nigeria & Ghana) successfully channeled the energy of philanthropy to creating social capital and bringing transformational change in health, education, access to clean water, and economic transformation for some of Africa’s poorest communities, affecting 20 Million lives.

Public Sector - Regulatory Management

Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) / Mobile Telecommunications Network Ltd (MTN)

1995 - 2005
I worked for six (6) years in the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), the Telecom Industry Regulator, where I was part of the legal team directly involved in developing legislative & policy instruments to manage the nascent Nigerian Telecoms sector at the time. I participated in processes leading to the digital mobile license auction in 2001 and giving birth to the mobile Telecoms Industry in Nigeria.

I joined MTN Nigeria as a Regulatory Advisor in 2001, became General Manager (Regulatory Affairs) in 2004 and in that capacity was involved in influencing legislative review of the principal enabling Industry legislation in 2003.

Commercial Management

Mobile Telecommunications Network Ltd (MTN)

2005 - 2011
I was transferred laterally in July 2005 to the commercial side of the business to become General Manager, Sales & Distribution (Northern Region) and thereafter became Sales & Distribution Executive (Sales Director equivalent) in August 2007. In 2008, we transformed the Sales & Distribution operations to full FMCG Regional operations. This transformed the telecom channel landscape by creating regional distribution models, enhanced value creation to the channel and significant increase in sales for the business.

Between 2006 and 2010, MTN Nigeria achieved its highest annual revenue growth in the history of the company – 30%, 25%, 30% & 17% (average 25% annual growth) driven primarily by an effective sales & channel management strategy/operations under my leadership.

CEO/Country Leadership

Mobile Telecommunications Network Ltd (MTN)

2011 - 2015
In April 2011, I was appointed as CEO of MTN Ghana (the fourth largest Operating Company in the Group). I was in this position till August 2013 when I was appointed as CEO of MTN Nigeria. I am the first Nigerian to be so appointed as a CEO in the MTN Group.

In Ghana, we were able to maintain our leadership position (over 50% market share) with consistently good results. In 2012, we achieved annual revenue growth of 21% in a market with five other competitors.

In my role as CEO of MTN Nigeria, we were able to sustain our leadership position in an intensely competitive market; achieved revenue growth of 5.3% & 4% respectively in 2013 & 2014 rebounding from slowing growth of 9% in 2011 and -1% in 2012.

While we faced challenging macroeconomic environment in 2015, we positioned MTN to lead the delivery of the bold new digital world in Nigeria going forward.

MTN Nigeria is a significant contributor to MTN Group Financial performance – 35% of Group revenue and 46% of Group EBITDA. In October 2014, IE Market Research Corporation announced the results of the World’s first comprehensive ranking of over 700 Carriers assessed on consistency in business performance and shareholder returns. MTN Nigeria was announced to be number 1 in the global ranking.

Also in 2014, the Federal Government of Nigeria recognized MTN Nigeria as the 6th of the nation’s top 100 businesses. Whereas telecoms contributed 8.38% to GDP in 2015 Q1, MTN Nigeria alone was responsible for 50% of the sector’s GDP contribution. With GDP at $511 billion, MTN’s contribution is 4% of GDP, that also translates to 8% of non-oil taxes and 4% of total taxes in Nigeria. And, the company also supports other sectors of the economy – oil & gas, banking, insurance, e-commerce, music and the entertainment industry.

People Management

Mobile Telecommunications Network Ltd (MTN)

Driving effective people management practices and shaping the right culture in the company is critical to the success of the company. In MTN, Culture is measured on an annual basis through the Group Culture Audit undertaken in October of every year. MTN has also adopted some vital Behaviours – Candour, accountability, collaboration and Get-it-done – which are measured through an annual vital Behaviour survey. MTN Nigeria and Ghana have during the periods of my leadership been the top performing operations on the Group Culture Audit and Vital Behaviours surveys. In 2014, MTN Nigeria improved its employee satisfaction index by 7% points to 78% (13% points increase in the leadership dimension). MTNN Group has submitted it’s operating companies to scrutiny on People management practices with the Investors in People (IIP) accreditation process. The IIP standard is a global standard that establishes a strong correlation between people management practices and business performance. In 2015, MTN Nigeria was assessed and given the Gold accreditation which is the highest accreditation in the IIP process. MTN Nigeria is the first company to be so accredited in West Africa.

Boards & Executive Function

  • MTN Ghana Board (April 2011 to August 2013) – in capacity as CEO of MTN Ghana
  • MTN Ghana Foundation (April 2011 to August 2013) – in capacity as CEO of MTN Ghana
  • Member, Governing Council of Ghana Chamber of Telecommunications – in capacity as CEO of MTN Ghana
  • MTN Nigeria Board (August 2013 to November 2015) – in capacity as CEO of MTN Nigeria
  • Board of Nigerian Economic Summit Group (NESG). NESG is the foremost private sector advocacy Group. Representing ICT/Telecoms & in capacity of CEO of MTN (MTN being an active member of NESG)
  • MTN Group Executive Committee- Member

My Calendar

May 2019
Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday Saturday Sunday
April 29, 2019 April 30, 2019 May 1, 2019 May 2, 2019 May 3, 2019 May 4, 2019 May 5, 2019
May 6, 2019 May 7, 2019 May 8, 2019 May 9, 2019 May 10, 2019 May 11, 2019 May 12, 2019
May 13, 2019 May 14, 2019 May 15, 2019 May 16, 2019 May 17, 2019 May 18, 2019 May 19, 2019
May 20, 2019 May 21, 2019 May 22, 2019 May 23, 2019 May 24, 2019 May 25, 2019 May 26, 2019
May 27, 2019 May 28, 2019 May 29, 2019 May 30, 2019 May 31, 2019 June 1, 2019 June 2, 2019



Michael Ikpoki