Selorm Adadevoh: Transformational leader

On Monday, January 29, 2024, I was a privileged participant in an event that was a veritable leadership Masterclass. Luckily, I did not have to pay to attend.

It was a "Conversation with Selorm Adadevoh". As the CEO, Mr Adadevoh is leaving MTN Ghana after five years and nine months. He is going on to higher things as the Chief Commercial Manager at the Group level.

The theme for the event was Five Years of Impact, Celebrating Leadership and Digital Transformation for Progress in Ghana, but Citi FM's Bernard Avle, who hosted the programme, teased out three essential words, which turned out to exemplify the work of the CEO – TRANSFORMATION, LEADERSHIP and EXCELLENCE.

I met Mr Adadevoh a few times in his role, and I must say it did not occur to me that he had already spent nearly six years – the longest-serving CEO. Never was the saying more accurate that time passes when you are having a good time.

I cannot claim to know the outgoing CEO intimately, but I have interacted enough with him to glean a general impression. The CEO comes across as an optimistic and resilient person.

What emerged from my impressions and bolstered by Monday evening is that it takes a visionary leader to bring forth the necessary changes needed to revolutionize an industry. In Selorm Adadevoh, Ghana has had one individual who has worked tirelessly towards the advancement of the company and the overall telecom landscape in Ghana. His invaluable contributions and exceptional leadership skills have propelled MTN Ghana to new heights, making him a true force in the telecom space.
Astonishingly, he has achieved great things without turning into a tin god or even a "guru" in Ghana's celebrity-laden culture.

Last Monday, I confirmed that my impression of the man reflected his persona and a central tenet of his leadership style and content.

From his company's performance to the fortunes of Ghana, the impact of artificial intelligence and even the future of the Black Stars, Mr Adadevoh maintained a steady stream of unscripted but optimistic analysis founded on clear-headed thinking and empirical evidence.

Since assuming the CEO role in 2018, Selorm Adadevoh has had a profound impact on MTN Ghana and has led the company through remarkable growth and innovation. He has consistently championed a customer-centric approach, ensuring that the needs and aspirations of MTN customers are met.

By focusing on customer satisfaction, Adadevoh has successfully elevated the brand.
Under Adadevoh's Leadership, MTN Ghana has embarked on several groundbreaking initiatives that have transformed the telecom industry in the country. One such initiative is the fortification of MTN Mobile Money into a financial powerhouse in the country.

Today, this revolutionary mobile banking and payment system, which has empowered millions of Ghanaians, is taken for granted. Still, in his time, he elevated it into a company on its own, whose activities have benefitted the local population and inspired other telecom companies to follow suit.

Selorm Adadevoh has pioneered various other initiatives that have extended the reach and impact of MTN Ghana. These include the expansion of network coverage to remote areas, the introduction of affordable data packages and the enhancement of digital services.

Adadevoh's commitment to bridging the digital divide and ensuring that no one is left behind in Ghana's digital transformation journey is commendable.

Apart from his professional achievements, Selorm Adadevoh has also strongly advocated social responsibility and sustainability. He has spearheaded numerous corporate social responsibility projects on behalf of MTN Ghana, focusing on education, health and environmental initiatives.

Through these efforts, Adadevoh has made an indelible impact on local communities, improving the lives of countless individuals and leaving behind a legacy of positivity.

What truly sets Selorm Adadevoh apart is his exceptional leadership style. Known for his humility and ability to inspire others, he has created a work environment that fosters innovation, collaboration and excellence.
Adadevoh's commitment to nurturing talent within the company has resulted in developing a skilled and motivated workforce instrumental in MTN Ghana's success.

Let no one think that Mr Adadevoh has had an easy ride in his charge at MTN. One of the most challenging episodes in the company's history was the company's declaration by the National Communications Authority as a Significant Market Power.
This controversial decision was a backhanded compliment to MTN; the company had become too successful under his watch. Consequently, MTN had to endure restrictions that curtailed its ability to extend various services and privileges to its customers at its desired rates.

Despite this and other challenges, the indices of the company's development "pointed north" in all the years of his stewardship. He revealed that revenues grew four times while profits soared six times.
We must remember that COVID-19 occurred during his time in office. Selorm explained that MTN could have expanded even more during COVID-19 but was limited by its capacity.

Selorm Adadevoh has received numerous accolades and awards for his remarkable achievements. Recently, he was named one of the "Top 100 Most Influential Personalities in Ghana" by the Everything Ghana Power List, further cementing his status as a prominent figure in the business world.

One notable achievement of the Selorm period at MTN is strengthening the company's media relations through its dedicated and committed Communication Team. The CEO's commitment to the company's media policy will forever be one of his enduring legacies.

It fell to Mr Adadevoh to lead the celebration of MTN's 25th anniversary, and one of its highlights was the Bright Media Awards, at which he affirmed the company's values regarding freedom of the media in an open society. We are truly grateful for that and many manifestations of support to the media and journalists.

Selorm Adadevoh has revolutionized the telecommunication industry in Ghana. Through his bold vision, unwavering dedication and customer-centric approach, he has propelled MTN Ghana to new heights of success and transformed the lives of millions of Ghanaians.
I have to end this piece with a portion of a poem written by one Patrick Ayumu for the Bright Media Awards:
You 4G-ed my 3D self,
And for God’s love of me,
Selorm is eyeing 5G.
Open gate; Chale!

Source: Nana Kwasi Gyan-Apenteng (Graphic online)