(Business in Cameroon) - In April 2021, Benoît Yaoussou, a former high-ranking official at the Ministry of Posts and Telecommunications and the Telecom Regulatory Agency (ART), was discreetly appointed CEO of Viettel Cameroon, which operates in Cameron under the business name Nextell.
The inspector of Posts and Telecoms is now the first Cameroonian to be appointed CEO of Nexttel, the third operator to obtain a mobile telecom license (in 2021 although its operations were launched in September 2014). Before the appointment of this Cameroonian, the position was held by a Vietnamese while two Cameroonians were deputy CEO and chairman of the executive board. The reason a Vietnamese was appointed as CEO was that Viettel Cameroon was 70%-owned by Viettel Global Investment SA, against 30% for Bestinver Cameroon SA, a Cameroonian company owned by business mogul Baba Danpullo.
Was a Cameroonian CEO appointed because Nexttel is now fully controlled by the Cameroonian shareholder? There is no credible information to back such hypotheses for the time being. However, in 2018, a power struggle started between the two shareholders. Even the arbitration of the Cameroonian Prime Minister Joseph Dion Ngute has so far failed to end the power struggles. Each of the shareholders was even willing to buy back the shares of the other party.