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Group Executive Management

"Bahrain Telecommunications Company (BATELCO) is headquartered in the Kingdom of Bahrain and is listed on the Bahrain Bourse.

Batelco has played a pivotal role in Bahrain's development as a major communications hub and today is the leading digital communications solutions provider, continuing to lead and shape the local consumer market and the enterprise ICT market.

Batelco has also evolved from being a regional Middle Eastern operation to becoming a major communications international entity - operating as the "Batelco Group" with direct and indirect investments across 14 geographies, namely Bahrain, Jordan, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, Yemen, Egypt, Guernsey, Jersey, Isle of Man, Maldives, Diego Garcia, St. Helena, Ascension Island and the Falkland Islands."



Ihab Hinnawi was appointed as Group CEO in December 2015, having led the Group as Acting CEO since February 2015. Ihab joined Umniah as Chief Executive Officer in 2009, drawing on over 20 years of extensive managerial experience to lead the company's industry-pioneering operations. Prior to assuming the CEO role at Umniah, Mr. Hinnawi held the role of General Manager Enterprise Division at Batelco Bahrain and subsequently the role of CEO at Batelco Jordan. In 2004 Mr. Hinnawi helped to establish Umniah as a key member of its initial management team, and continued to work as the Operations Director of Umniah until 2007.

His repertoire of key expertise portfolio includes increasing revenue, effecting management change, developing new businesses, managing high stake negotiations, strategic planning, developing key partnerships, building corporate and marketing strategy, effecting risk management, and leading organizational restructuring.


Faisal Qamhiyah was appointed as Group Chief Financial Officer in October 2013 having served as Bahrain CFO since January 2013. Prior to joining the team at Batelco, Faisal held the role of CFO at Umniah, Batelco's sister operation in Jordan from June to December 2012. He brings a wealth of experience with unique mixes of commercial and financial hands-on proven experience coupled with passion for the telecom industry. Faisal had served with distinction as advisor to the Board of Directors, CEO, CFO, COO and as Marketable Securities Fund Manager in various companies. He held a number of roles at Zain Jordan including the positions of Finance Director / CFO, Chief Marketing Officer and Chief Operating Officer. His experience also includes the role of Group Internal Auditor EDGO Group and Investments Director / Capital Markets at Ern Capital.

Faisal holds a BA in Economics & Accounting from Yarmouk University Jordan and a CPA from Delaware USA. He also completed the Executive Development Programme (EDP) at Kellogg School of Management, Chicago USA and various executive leadership programmes at prestigious institutes including the Harvard Business School and London Business School. Faisal is Co-founder and Board of Directors' member of Jordan Association of Management Accountants (JAMA).

ahmedk.jpgShaikh Ahmed entered the company as Senior Manager Employee Relations in 1997. Coming from an engineering background having been an aircraft engineer, he made the transition from machines to people smoothly. From 1999 he added recruitment to his responsibilities. Being a team member in Project Get Ready in 2002 proved to be an immense learning curve for Shaikh Ahmed as issues not before applicable within the company were addressed. The experience widened his scope in the field of Human Resource Development and led to his appointment as acting GM HR in mid 2003. He became GM HR in mid 2004 and in January 2008 extended his role to include responsibility for the Batelco Group.

ahmed.jpgAhmed Al Janahi supports the Board of Directors and Executive Management in shaping the development of the Batelco Group throughout the region. Successful careers in Real Estate, Industry Equipment Sales, the Hotel Industry, Finance and Aviation prepared Ahmed well for the wide ranging responsibilities he undertook upon joining Batelco's Corporate Affairs Department in 2003. His wealth of knowledge and his experience combined with his unmatched enthusiasm serves him well in his multi faceted role as Group Board Secretary and voice of Batelco.

brenadette.jpgBernadette Baynie is a senior executive with Batelco Group and has been its chief lawyer since 2008. She has the leading responsibility for all legal and regulatory matters across Batelco's operating companies in the Middle East and India. Her vast experience ranges from roles in leading Australian law firms to senior in-house counsel for companies in the banking and telecommunications industries. Bernadette has a comprehensive in-house corporate counsel expertise, in a wide range of areas of law that impact upon the end-to-end operations of large companies, including cross-border mergers and acquisitions, corporate finance transactions, telecommunications infrastructure arrangements, complex commercial transactions, regulatory compliance, corporate governance, international dispute resolution and risk management. Bernadette has a proven leadership capability and is focused on achieving commercially sound outcomes for Batelco, which are strategically aligned to the company's performance goals and values. She graduated with a Bachelor of Laws from Sydney University, Australia.

alis.jpgAli Sharif reports to the Batelco Group Board Audit Committee and also sits on the Board of Qualitynet and the Audit Committees of Batelco's subsidiaries and affiliate companies. He holds the responsibility to directly lead, manage and supervise all core activities within the Group's companies including carrying out audits and advisories. Ali joined Batelco as a graduate trainee in 1990 and has held a number of key positions during his tenure including Internal Audit Manager and Chief Internal Auditor of Batelco Bahrain. Besides Ali's academic bachelor degree in Finance and Accounting, he holds the following professional qualifications CIA (USA), CISA (USA), CRMA (USA). He is one of the co-founders of the Bahrain Chapter of Information Systems and Controls Association. He holds active memberships with the Institute of Internal Auditors, Information Systems and Controls Association and Association of Certified Fraud Examiners.

haitham.jpgHaytham has an extensive wireless telecommunications engineering background from various roles with regional telecom Operators, Equipment Manufacturers and industry contractors. He has experience with start-up mobile operations and, in addition to his technical/engineering responsibilities, has been involved in commercial/financial evaluations, development of business plans and marketing strategies. Haytham joined Umniah as Director of Engineering in its pre-launch phase, Aug 2004 and has led Umniah's network operations and investments in mobile network infrastructure. Other roles included Technical Director, Senior System Engineering Manager with Ciscom, Fastlink (Zain Jordan), Philips TRT (European Telecom Manufacturer). Haytham holds BSc degree in Electronics / Telecom Engineering 1993 from the Maritime Academy/Alexandria Egypt.


 Karan Ponnudurai joined the Batelco Group in July 2016 taking on the newly created role of Group Chief Digital Officer to support the Group’s strategy to be a leader in the growing field of digitisation.  With over 25 years’ experience gained in leading organisations in the US, Germany and Malaysia, Karan has the relevant knowledge and experience to meet Batelco Group’s commitment to delivering the digital solutions required for the growth of smart cities and smart businesses. 

Prior to joining the Batelco Group, Karan held the post of Chief Innovation Officer at Axiata Digital, Malaysia, with responsibility for the digital strategy, implementation and on-going business operations of the company across a number of geographies. He previously held senior executive roles including the post of Chief Online and Innovation Officer at Celcom Axiata and Vice President Technology & Business Development at SoftBank Emerging Markets, Kuala Lumpur.

Karan holds a BSc in Electrical Engineering from Stanford University, USA and a Master of Engineering with specialisation in Communication Systems from University of Malaya, Kuala Lumpur.


Ahmed Abdel-Latif joined Batelco Group in October 2016 as Group Chief Wholesale Officer to focus on achieving the group's vision of being the leading integrator of digital solutions and services in its chosen markets through consolidating, optimizing and strategic planning of the Group's international & wholesale services portfolio.

His remit covers International Wholesale Voice & Data Services, International Roaming, IP Transit, Cross-border Cable Systems, International VAS, Data Centers & Cloud Services and Global Carrier Partnerships & Alliances.

Ahmed brings 20 years of experience in International Wholesale & Carrier Services across the Emerging Markets space. Prior to joining Batelco Group, he was Vice President, Business Development for Middle East & Africa (MEA) for a global provider of wholesale & enterprise Telecoms services, operating the world’s largest privately-owned submarine fiber cables network with direct access to 44 markets.

Previously, Ahmed was Group Vice President for International Carrier Services, Wholesale & International Roaming at a large Emerging Markets Telecoms Services group with operations in 18 countries across the Middle East, Africa, and South Asia, with annual turnover of $14.1 billion.

Ahmed holds a Bachelor’s degree in Telecommunications & Electronics Engineering from Ain Shams University (Cairo, Egypt), a Master of Science degree in Computer Science from the University of Louisville (KY, USA), and a Master’s degree in Business Administration (with Distinction) from The Maastricht School of Management (Maastricht, The Netherlands); with a focus on Globalization.