Morten Lundal - Chief executive officer of Maxis Bhd

  • Business
  • Saturday, 28 Dec 2013

MORTEN Lundal, a man who once transformed one of the nation’s smallest telcos, DiGi.Com Bhd, into a leader in the prepaid segment of the market, has been tasked with giving telecom giant Maxis Bhd a fresh coat of paint.

He surprised the market when he took up the role of CEO at Maxis in mid-July, mainly due to the fact that he once was DiGi’s CEO.

While he was engaged at DiGi between 2004 and 2008, Lundal broke down silos and refocused the company towards its consumers. His time at DiGi saw the group’s profit quadruple and its share price increase six-fold.

He then left the company well-known for its Yellow Man mascot, for Vodafone Group Plc, taking role as group chief commercial officer.

In late June, the market was rife with speculation that Maxis was courting Lundal, when he was spotted in Malaysia’s capital city.

Just a few weeks later, it was announced that Lundal had been hired as CEO to shake things up at the sluggish giant telco.

Lundal is intrigued by how Maxis has been drifting in the last two years and how hard it is to revive the momentum again. Although he says Maxis is not in any trouble, he adds that it is stuck in negative momentum.

The company has lost its touch with customers. He wants to instil a likeability factor in the company that would once again appeal to more consumers.

He wants to spend RM1bil in capital expenditure in 2014, which will go into branding, product innovation and network. Meanwhile, he says the company will still keep its 40 sen dividend commitment in 2014.

Also, more product innovation will be done to get the youth segment to re-choose Maxis.

Since coming on board in October, he has kick-started a plan that flattens the managerial structure in Maxis, which will see some 40% of managers becoming team players instead of leaders.

Lundal will be continuing Maxis’ career transition plan in order to restructure middle management.

On top of his list of things to do is to make a comeback in the prepaid segment. A fix in the company’s branding and distribution will help do that.

Lundal aims to improve the network from “good to great”, and wants the touch points with customers strengthened.

To inspire confidence, he wants to send the message that postpaid customers can get data the way they want it. Efforts to banish the perception that Maxis is an old man’s brand, and refocus on quality will also be made.

Although revitalising Maxis will probably prove to be a hard and tedious process, Lundal believes he can make the key changes the telco needs in a year’s time.

He sees the year 2014 as a transformational year and 2015 as a year of performance.

The market may see Maxis underperforming for a few more quarters, but it will not be for long. Lundal expects to keep the company’s margins while it invests more in marketing.

The future of the company is now in his hands, and needless to say, all eyes will be on him for the comeback of Maxis. – By Wong Wei-Shen

Related stories:

Watch them in 2014

Datuk Abdul Farid Alias - President and CEO of Malayan Banking Bhd

Tan Sri Shamsul Azhar Abbas - President and CEO of Petroliam Nasional Bhd

Tan Sri Shahril Shamsuddin - President and group chief executive of SapuraKencana Petroleum Bhd

Tan Sri Liew Kee Sin - Group President and CEO of SP Setia Bhd

Mohd Emir Mavani Abdullah - Group president and CEO of Felda Global Ventures Holdings Bhd

Datuk Seri Abdul Wahid Omar - Minister in the Prime Ministers Department

Tan Sri Syed Mokhtar Albukhary - Shareholder of MMC Corp and DRBHicom Bhd

Tan Sri Tony Fernandes - Founder and Group CEO of AirAsia Bhd

Tan Sri Mohd Bakke Salleh - President and CEO of Sime Darby Bhd

Tan Sri Vincent Tan Chee Yioun - Founder and controlling shareholder of Berjaya Group

Shila Dorai Raj - Chief executive officer of Malaysia Competition Commission

Article type: metered
User Type: anonymous web
User Status:
Campaign ID: 1
Cxense type: free
User access status: 3
Subscribe now to our Premium Plan for an ad-free and unlimited reading experience!


Next In Business News

Stocks, oil skid as China's COVID protests roil sentiment
Cushioned from global impact
Bursa likely to trend higher on foreign funds
The Week Ahead: 3Q earnings , PMI, inflation
Caution despite typical year-end stock rally
Effective social protection system vital
News Corp shareholder concerned about Fox merger
What’s in it for me? – A consumer’s perspective on digital banking
Strong demand for gold jewellery from Singapore
Germany’s Brenntag in takeover talks with US rival

Others Also Read