By Eneh Victor Chigozie
These may not be the best of days for Adrian Woods, former MTN Nigeria Chief Executive as the majority shares owners of 9Mobile seem to be reconsidering their business relationship with him over allegations of double deal with their fiercest competitors and other scandals.
Woods is also accused of sidelining Nigerian experts in the company, preferring instead to deal with European employees of the company for which some insiders see him as a racist.
According to reliable sources, Adrian Woods and the company he formed with some of his colleagues Teleology may be axed from 9Mobile where they own minority stake as sources allege he failed to meet his own part of the deal.
Apart from the disappointment and anger of the new owners over Adrian Woods alleged underhand practices, sources said the on-going Federal Government’s investigations of the ownership of the telecoms company may have added to the woes as his part of the deal is said to be very untidy.
“Adrian Woods is accused of disloyalty and that he was found to be building a camp within a camp,” our source said but did not give full details.
In addition, the new management was said to have waded into the circumstances surrounding circumstances leading to Adrian Woods departure from MTN where was CEO.
The new management of 9Mobile is also said to have been pissed off by the recurring stories around his alleged illicit affairs with two female staff who were embroiled in a clash over contracts irregularly awarded to them by Adrian Wood the then CEO of the company, adding that the management feels the refusal of the scandal to fizzle out would remain a big stain on the company’s integrity if he is allowed to stay in the system.
“It is unfortunate all these have to happen. Woods is undoubtedly one of the finest commercial and technical minds in the industry. His short comings largely arise from his inability to honour his words and this other weakness that has been known to bring down men of power. A detailed report on the matter will definitely hit the headlines if the infighting continues” said the source.
The source further revealed that Adrian Wood started fighting the team that took over the helm of affairs in an acting capacity while the new owners embarked on developing the long-term strategy of the company.
In just over a month from taking over 9 Mobile, the team has increased subscriber base by over one million subscribers; cut costs; improved network efficiency to compete effectively with competitors in the Nigerian market; and embarked on aggressive product development while saving hundreds of Nigerian jobs.
All these have attracted the attention and admiration of telecom industry watchers but has apparently been met with jealous and envy by Mr. Wood. This publication gathers that whilst Mr. Wood did not put any funds towards the project, he wanted to coerce the board into giving management contract and all executive authority to his European group leaving them at liberty to fire the Nigerian employees.
“The man is stuck in 1990s and seems to be taking the huge experience and expertise of Nigerians in telecoms sector for granted” stated another insider. It appears that the man’s future in the business is in doubt.
Eneh Victor Chigozie, publisher AIF Media
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