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Gbevlo Lartey appointed CEO of Expresso

Col. Larry Gbevlo-Lartey (rtd) - Former National Security Coordinator

Citi Business News has learnt that former National Security Coordinator, Colonel Larry Gbevlo-Lartey (retired) has been appointed as the acting CEO of Expresso.

The former National Security Coordinator was given the nod after majority shareholders of Expresso, Sudatel gave him the power of attorney to run the telecommunications company.

Sources familiar with the matter tell Citi Business News the former security boss assumed that role about two months ago.

Gbevlo Lartey a former army officer was relieved of his position as National Security Coordinator by President John Mahama in April 2014.

Expresso’s crisis

Industry players in the telecom industry have remained tight lipped about his new appointment and what he will bring on board especially at a time when Expresso is facing some financial and operational challenges.

Majority of Expresso’s challenges has been tied to its affiliation with Sudan and Sudatel which has made difficult to raise capital locally and internationally and deal with vendors.

Expresso’s Chief Commercial Officer Freddie Quainoo earlier told Citi Business News their ‘main challenge is their affiliation with Sudan and Sudatel which has made it difficult to raise capital locally and internationally and deal with vendors, “So we need to look at our structure so we can deal with these challenges”. He added.

Expresso, over the years, has struggled to increase its market share in the telecom industry.

It has had the least subscriber base in the industry for years.

Expresso sale

Last year Sudatel initiated moves to sell its shares in Expresso.

But in August, 2014 Expresso dismissed reports that it had been sold, after Sudatel on its website, announced to shareholders in its financial report for the first half of this year, that it had concluded the sale of Expresso in Ghana.

Cash war

In November, 2014 Expresso made news for the wrong reasons.

This was after MTN and Airtel cut ties with the company for failing to meet its financial obligations to them.

MTN’s CEO Serame Taukobong had earlier told Citi Business News it would not restore the services until Expresso honors its financial obligation to it: “We hope the issue will be resolved as soon as possible. It can only be resolved if Kasapa shows commitment to honor their financial obligations.”

MTN however restored the services on the 20th of November, 2014 after the two resolved the matter amicably.

It still however, remains unclear whether Col.Gbevlo Lartey will remain the CEO of the company in the longer term.

 

By: Vivian Kai Mensah/citifmonline.com/Ghana

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