Our executives combine strong management skills with a proven track record in the telecommunications industry and specialist market insight. The Executive Management Committee and Board of Directors are shown below. 

  • Sam Darwish

    Chairman, CEO and Director

    Sam Darwish has over 25 years’ experience in the telecommunications industry and co-founded IHS Towers in 2001. Under Sam’s leadership, IHS Towers has grown from a start-up infrastructure company in Nigeria to one of the leading emerging market communications infrastructure businesses.

    Previously he served as the Deputy Managing Director of CELIA Motophone Ltd, Nigeria’s first Global System for Mobiles (GSM) operator. He was also the Vice Chairman and Director of Projects at Lintel, an international GSM operator, responsible for global project implementation in West Africa and the Middle East. Before that he was the Network Chief Engineer for Libancell (currently Touch), Lebanon’s first GSM network operator.

    Additionally, Sam founded Singularity Investments, a private investment firm with a focus on technology, media and telecommunication companies with investments in the United States and the emerging markets. He is also the Founder and President of DAR Properties, a property investment company, and DAR Telecoms, a telecommunications consulting company.

    Sam is a graduate, with distinction, of the American University of Beirut with a Bachelor’s Engineering Degree in Computer Communications. He was awarded the CNBC Africa Business Leader of the Year Award for West Africa in 2016 and the TowerXchange Lifetime Achievement Award in 2017 for his founding and continued leadership of IHS Towers. Sam is a US citizen, a member of the Wilson Center Global Advisory Council and frequent speaker at telecommunications industry events. He is also a Trustee of the Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum, New York.  


  • William Saad

    Executive Vice President, Chief Operating Officer and Co-Founder

    William is responsible for shaping IHS Towers’ long-term technology vision and driving innovation across the company.

    He has over 20 years’ experience in the telecommunications industry. William has played a key part in the development and roll-out of Nigeria’s telecommunications sector, including building the first turnkey sites that marked the beginning of the country’s Global System for Mobiles (GSM) revolution.

    Before co-founding IHS Towers, William was the Operations Director at CELIA Motophone Nigeria Limited. His responsibilities included designing, implementing and operating Motophone GSM, PNL and V-SAT networks in Nigeria. His achievements at CELIA include successfully implementing, in 24 months, the planned network expansion for one million subscribers.

    Before joining CELIA, William served as project manager at Lintel SAL, where he designed and implemented GSM projects, and was a Site Survey and Implementation Engineer at Libancell.

    William has a Bachelor’s Degree in Computer and Communication Engineering from the American University of Beirut.


  • Steve Howden

    Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer

    Steve is responsible for overseeing the financial activities of all IHS entities and implementing an effective financial strategy across the company. 

    Steve joined IHS Towers in 2013 and, since then, has held a variety of senior finance functions. He has nearly three years’ experience as Deputy CFO of the Group where he was responsible for equity and debt financings, the treasury function, mergers and acquisitions, financial planning and analysis, commercial finance, in addition to investor relations and communications.

    Steve has over 17 years of finance experience. Previously he was a member of the Ernst & Young M&A department and in the Corporate Restructuring teams at Ernst & Young and Andersen. 

    Steve is a Chartered Accountant who trained at Ernst & Young in London and has a BSc in Business Administration from the University of Bath in the UK.

  • Mustafa Tharoo

    Executive Vice President and General Counsel

    Mustafa is responsible for all Legal matters pertaining to IHS, guiding the company through change and providing Legal counsel to the Board of Directors and the wider Executive Committee. 

    He is a leading corporate and commercial lawyer. Mustafa joined IHS Towers in 2011 and has over 20 years of experience in M&A and project finance transactions globally.  He has acted on a variety of such matters both on behalf of sponsors/purchasers and targets in Africa, Middle East, Asia and Latin America and has overseen more than 30 such transactions successfully during his tenure at IHS Towers. He is also a member of IHS' Executive Ethics Committee. 

    Mustafa's primary fields of practice include mergers and acquisitions, joint ventures, complex commercial contracts and corporate and project finance matters. He has also undertaken a variety of private and public company commercial work. Mustafa has acted for, and advised, vendors and purchasers on the acquisition and disposal of shares and assets. This included undertaking detailed due diligence investigations and drafting and negotiating share purchase, asset purchase, joint venture, partnership, sale and leaseback agreements, distribution and marketing agreements. On the debt capital markets side, he has also been involved in the drafting of OMs, listing of publicly traded securities and undertaking liability management exercises.

    Before joining IHS Towers, Mustafa was a Consultant at ADEPT Chambers in Tanzania. Previously, he served as a Consultant at Ringo & Associates in Tanzania and a Partner at Anjarwalla & Khanna in Kenya. 

    Mustafa is a member of the Law Society of Kenya. He is a frequent speaker at seminars and conferences on various aspects of law and investment.


  • David Ordman

    Senior Vice President and Deputy Chief Financial Officer

    David is responsible for financial planning and economic modeling, supporting our Chief Financial Officer in the delivering of the company’s wider financial strategy. In addition, he manages finance, procurement and oversees new business integration.  

    Before joining the company in 2012, David trained at Pricewaterhouse Coopers (PwC) in the UK. He has over 20 years’ experience working in international telecommunications and infrastructure companies.

    David is a member of the senior leadership team and acts as a financial adviser across all IHS entities. Other responsibilities include membership of the finance, audit and investment committees, and the Board of Directors.


  • Mohamad Darwish

    Senior Vice President, IHS Nigeria CEO and Co-Founder

    Mohamad is responsible for leading IHS’ largest entity, IHS Nigeria, and delivering a commercial strategy that supports IHS’ wider growth ambitions. 

    He has over 20 years' experience working in the telecommunications sector.  As a Co-founder of IHS Towers, he has worked in various finance and technical functions and served as the IHS Nigeria Business Development Director and Deputy CEO before becoming the Nigeria CEO. Mohamad is responsible for growing IHS Nigeria’s operations and further strengthening its position as the leading tower company in Nigeria. He oversees the development of the IHS Nigeria's strategic plan, the roll out of new sales strategies, and manages key relationships with clients, regulators, ministries and NGOs.

    He is a member of the Executive Ethics Committee and responsible for helping ensure the company is fully compliant at a Group level with international standards and best practices. 

    Mohamad has a Master of Engineering in Applied Operation Research from Cornell University, a Master of Business Administration with Honours from Rollins College, and a Bachelor of Electrical Engineering from the American University of Beirut.


  • Ayotade Oyinlola

    Senior Vice President and Chief Human Resources Officer

    Ayotade is responsible for upholding IHS' culture and values by delivering a HR strategy that attracts, retains and develops leading talent across all IHS entities. 

    He brings over 20 years of HR and telecommunications industry experience to the IHS management team. Ayotade most recently served as Millicom Services UK Head of HR for Africa and Europe, overseeing operations throughout Africa, as well as the corporate offices in London, Luxembourg and Sweden. He has extensive experience in driving international and African talent acquisition and development at various executive and operational levels within the telecommunications sector. Previously, he served as Ericsson’s West Africa HR Director and the Sub-Sahara Africa Director for Learning and Development. In addition, he has held several senior positions at Shell Petroleum, Bristow Helicopters, Atlasco Technologies and Resourcery Limited.

    Ayotade holds a Bachelor of Engineering degree (Electrical & Computer Engineering) from the Federal University of Technology, Minna; and an Executive MBA (Strategy, Human & Organizational Behavior and Strategic HR) from the Lagos Business School. Ayotade is a Chartered Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development in the UK, and a member of the Chartered Institute of Personnel Managers in Nigeria.


  • Bill Bates

    Senior Vice President and Chief Strategy Officer

    Bill is responsible for the Group’s mergers and acquisitions and commercial strategy.

    Before joining IHS in January 2022, Bill spent five years at Brookfield Asset Management, one of the largest telecom infrastructure investors globally, where he was responsible for investing in towers, fiber and data centers. Prior to Brookfield, Bill spent 15 years with SBA Communications where he was instrumental in driving international growth throughout the emerging markets.

    Bill is a graduate of the Ivey Business School’s Marketing Management program and is also a graduate of Humber College with a Diploma in Electronic Engineering.

  • Colby Synesael

    Senior Vice President of Communications 

    Colby is responsible for IHS Towers’ corporate communications including Investor Relations, Communications, and ESG reporting.

    Before joining IHS Towers in March 2022, Colby spent 12 years as a managing director and senior research analyst specializing in the communications infrastructure (towers, data centers, fiber) and telecom services industries at the investment bank Cowen. Colby was regarded as one of the leading analysts in communications infrastructure and was ranked in the top three of Institutional Investor’s annual sell-side poll in each of his last five years at Cowen.

    Prior to joining Cowen in March 2010, he was a senior research analyst at Kaufman Brothers and before that spent nearly three years at Merriman Curhan Ford. Between 2001 to January 2006 he worked at Thomas Weisel Partners, focusing as a research associate from 2003 onwards covering communications infrastructure and telecom services.

    Colby holds a BS from the State University of New York at Plattsburgh.

  • Sam Darwish

    Chairman and CEO


    Sam Darwish is one of our co-founders and serves as the Chairman and Group Chief Executive Officer of IHS Towers, and as a Director of IHS Towers. Mr. Darwish has over 25 years’ experience in the telecommunications industry. Before founding the Company, he served as the Deputy Managing Director of CELIA Motophone Ltd, Nigeria’s first GSM operator. Prior to that, Mr. Darwish was Vice Chairman and Director of projects at Lintel, an international GSM operator, responsible for global project implementation in West Africa and the Middle East. Mr. Darwish also served as Network Manager for Libancell SAL, a Lebanese GSM operator, which is currently known as Touch. In addition, Mr. Darwish has created several businesses and investment firms. In this regard, he currently serves as the Founder and Principal of Singularity Investments, a private investment firm with a focus on technology, media and telecommunications companies with investments in the United States and the emerging markets. He is also the Founder and President of DAR Properties, a property investment company, and DAR Telecoms, a telecommunications consulting company. He is also a Trustee of the Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum, New York.  

  • Mallam Bashir Ahmad El-Rufai

    Independent Non-Executive Director

    Mallam Bashir Ahmad El-Rufai has been a Director and the Chairman of the Board of Directors for IHS Nigeria Limited since 2002, and was Chairman of the Board of Directors of IHS Towers from 2013 to 2019. Prior to IHS Nigeria Limited, Mr. El‑Rufai served with Kano State Oil & Allied Product Limited before joining Nigerian Cereals Processing Company Ltd as Assistant Production Manager and Group Marketing Manager. He served as Chief Commercial Officer for the Northern District of the Nigerian External Telecommunications Limited (NET) and held several positions at the Nigerian Telecommunications Ltd (NITEL).

    He was Co‑founder and President of Nigeria’s first indigenous private telecom operator, Intercellular Nigeria Limited. Mr. El‑Rufai serves as Chairman of  Intercellular Nigeria Plc and as Vice Chairman/Corporate Advisor of Intercellular/Sudatel (Nigeria) Limited. He has served as an Independent Director of FSDH Merchant Bank Limited and a Director of Kafal Pharmaceuticals Limited. Mr. El‑Rufai has also chaired several boards including Channel Distribution (an ICT company), MFB fertilizer and Chemical Co.Ltd. and Systemtech.

  • Ursula M. Burns

    Independent Non-Executive Director

    Ursula Burns joined the Board of Directors of IHS Holding Limited as an Independent Non-Executive Director in July 2020. Ms. Burns was the Chairman of the Board of Xerox Corporation from 2010 to 2017 and Chief Executive Officer from 2009 to 2016, after having been appointed President in 2007. During Ms. Burns’ tenure as Chief Executive Officer, she helped the company transform from a global leader in document technology to the world’s most diversified business services company serving enterprises and governments of all sizes. Shortly after being named CEO in 2009, she spearheaded the largest acquisition in Xerox history, the $6.4 billion purchase of Affiliated Computer Services.

    Following her retirement from Xerox, Ms. Burns was appointed as Chairman of VEON, Ltd. in 2017 and became Chairman and CEO in December 2018 until June 2020.

    Ms. Burns is a member of the Exxon Mobil, Uber Technologies, Inc., and Endeavor Group Holdings, Inc. Board of Directors. She is also a founding partner of Integrum Holdings, a private equity firm, Non-Executive Chairman of Teneo Holdings LLC, and the Executive Chairman of Plum Acquisition Corp I. In addition, Ms. Burns is on several private company boards, including Waystar, IHS Holding Limited, and while also providing leadership counsel to several other community, educational and non-profit organizations including the Ford Foundation, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) Corporation, Cornell Tech Board of Overseers, the New York City Ballet, and the Mayo Clinic amongst others.

    President Barack Obama appointed Ms. Burns to lead the White House national program on Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) from 2009 - 2016. She served as Chair of the President’s Export Council from 2015 - 2016 after service as Vice Chair from 2010 - 2015.

    Ms. Burns holds a master’s degree in mechanical engineering from Columbia University and a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering from Polytechnic Institute of New York University. She is a member of the National Academy of Engineering, American Academy of Arts and Sciences, Royal Academy of Engineering and the G7 Gender Equity Advisory Council.

  • Jeb Bush

    Independent Non-Executive Director

    Jeb Bush joined the Board of Directors of IHS Holding Limited as an Independent Non-Executive Director in October 2019. Mr. Bush is the 43rd governor of the State of Florida, serving from 1999 through to 2007. He was the third Republican elected to the state’s highest office and the first Republican in the state’s history to be re-elected. He was most recently a candidate for the Republican presidential nomination in 2016.

    Governor Bush remained true to his conservative principles throughout his two terms in office – cutting nearly $20 billion in taxes, vetoing more than $2.3 billion in earmarks and reducing the state government workforce. His limited government approach helped unleash one of the most robust and dynamic economies in the nation, creating 1.3 million net new jobs and improving the state’s credit ratings, including achieving the first ever triple-A bond rating for Florida.

    During his two terms, Governor Bush championed major reform of government, in areas ranging from health care and environmental protection to civil service and tax reform. His top priority was the overhaul of the state’s failing education system. Under Governor Bush’s leadership, Florida established a bold accountability system in public schools and created the most ambitious school choice programs in the nation. Governor Bush is also known for his leadership during two unprecedented back-to-back hurricane seasons, which brought eight hurricanes and four tropical storms to the state of Florida in less than two years. He worked tirelessly to improve the state’s ability to respond quickly and compassionately during emergencies, while also instilling a ‘culture of preparedness’ in the state’s citizenry.

    Governor Bush previously served as a Presidential Professor of Practice at University of Pennsylvania. He also served as a visiting professor and fellow at Harvard University, an executive professor at Texas A&M University, and has been awarded several honorary doctorates from collegiate institutions across the country. Governor Bush earned his bachelor’s degree in Latin American Studies from the University of Texas at Austin.

    Governor Bush currently serves as Chairman of Finback Investments Partners LLC and Dock Square Capital LLC, both merchant banks headquartered in Coral Gables.

    Governor Bush maintains his passion for improving the quality of education by serving as the Chairman of the Foundation for Excellence in Education, a national non-profit education reform organization he founded to transform education in America.

  • Frank Dangeard

    Non-Executive Director

    Frank Dangeard joined the Board of Directors of IHS Holding Limited as a Non-Executive Director in September 2020. Mr. Dangeard is the Chairman of NortonLifelock (ex-Symantec - US), Chairman of Natwest Markets (UK) and also serves on the board of the NatWest Group (ex-RBS Group-UK). In the telecom and technology sectors, he has served on the boards of RPX (US); Orange, Equant and Wanadoo (France Telecom/Orange Group); Eutelsat (France); SonaeCom (Portugal) and was Deputy Chairman and Acting Chairman of Telenor (Norway).

    During his operating career, Mr. Dangeard was Deputy CEO of Thomson multimedia, then Deputy CEO of France Telecom, then Chairman & CEO of Thomson. He started his career in 1986 with Sullivan & Cromwell in New York and London, and then became a Managing Director of the investment bank SG Warburg & Co. Ltd.

    He has been a member of the Advisory Boards of the Harvard Business School (US) and of Ecole des Hautes Etudes Commerciales (France). He was a founding board member of Bruegel, the European think-tank.

    Mr. Dangeard graduated from the École des Hautes Etudes Commerciales (Prix Jouy-Entreprise), the Paris Institut d’Études Politiques (Lauréat) and from the Harvard Law School (Fulbright Scholar, HLS Fellow). He received the French Ordre National du Mérite and the French Légion d’Honneur.

  • Bryce Fort

    Non-Executive Director

    Bryce Fort joined the Board of Directors of IHS Holding Limited as a Non-Executive Director in June 2013. Mr. Fort is a Managing Director and Founding Partner of Emerging Capital Partners (ECP). He is responsible for identifying, analyzing, and recommending investments, performing due diligence, and leading transaction teams. Mr. Bryce has served on the boards of IHS Towers, Mukuru Limited, Wananchi Group Holdings, Java House, Artcaffe Limited and Maarifa Education, among others. 

    Prior to joining ECP in 2002, Mr. Fort worked for Deutsche Bank AG’s European Healthcare Corporate Finance Group which executed mergers and acquisitions, and equity and debt financing for pharmaceutical, biotech, and medical device companies. 

    Mr. Fort received a bachelor’s degree cum laude in computer engineering with a minor in economics from Lehigh University.

  • Maria Carolina Lacerda 

    Independent Non-Executive Director

    Maria Carolina Lacerda joined the Board of Directors of IHS Holding Limited as a Non-Executive Director in October 2021. An investment banker for 25 years in financial institutions such as UBS, Merrill Lynch, Deutsche Bank and Bear Stearns, Ms. Lacerda serves today on the Board of Directors and Audit Committees of large publicly-traded Brazilian corporates such as Vibra Energia (former BR Distribuidora - BRDT3), Rumo Logistica (RAIL3) and Hypera Pharma (HYPE3/HYPMY). A Brazilian national, she was Member of the Board of Directors of ANBIMA (Entity representing Players in the Financial and Capital Markets), the CNF (Financial Industry Association) and Câmara de Listagem da BM&FBovespa (Stock Exchange Listing Board) in Brazil. Ms. Lacerda is today a mentor of the IBGC (Brazilian Institute for Corporate Governance) Diversity Program for Corporate Directors and a member of the Investment Committee of SempreFEA, the endowment fund for the Economics and Business School of the University of São Paulo. 

    Ms. Lacerda has a BA in Economics from the University of São Paulo (1994) and an MBA from Columbia University (1999). Also has Corporate Directors Certifications from IBGC and Harvard Business School.

  • Nick Land

    Independent Non-Executive Director

    Nick Land joined the IHS Holding Limited Board of Directors as a Non-Executive Independent Director and Chair of the Audit Committee in August 2019. He is a chartered accountant, retired as Executive Chairman of Ernst & Young LLP in 2006 following 36 years with the firm. Mr. Land also serves as the Deputy Chair of Thames Water Utilities Ltd and chairs the Audit and Risk Committee. He is also Chair of The Instant Group and sits on the board of Astro Lighting Ltd. Mr. Land has previously been a Non-Executive Director of Vodafone Group, Royal Dutch Shell, Alliance Boots, Ashmore Group, Signature Aviation and the UK’s Financial Reporting Council. He is also Chair of the Board of Trustees of the Vodafone Group Foundation, is an adviser to the Board of Dentons UK EMEA and chairs the Private Equity Reporting Group of the British Venture Capital Association.

  • Phuthuma Nhleko

    Independent Non-Executive Director

    Joined the Board of Directors of IHS Holding Limited as a Non-Executive Independent Director in October 2021. Mr. Nhleko previously served as Chief Executive of MTN Group from 2002 to 2011 and continued to serve as Non-Executive Director and Chair of the MTN Group board from 2013 to 2019. He also currently as Chairman of the Pembani Group (PTY) Ltd, a position he has held since 2011. He currently serves on the boards of the Johannesburg Stock Exchange, or the JSE, and is expected to serve as the Chairman of the JSE from May 2022. Mr. Nhleko also serves as the director of Engen Holding Limited and Phembani Remgro Infrastructure Fund Managers. Previously, he served on the boards of BP plc from 2011 to 2016 and Anglo American from 2011 to 2015. In addition, during his tenure as MTN Group CEO, he was a non-executive director at the GSM Association, the global trade association for mobile phone operators. Prior to joining MTN Group, Mr. Nhleko served as a director of Nedbank Group Limited and Old Mutual Life (SA).

  • Aniko Szigetvari

    Independent Non-Executive Director

    Aniko Szigetvari first served on the Board of Directors of IHS Holding Limited as a Non-Executive Director from July 2014 to February 2021, before re-joining in October 2021. She is the founding partner of Atlantica Ventures, an African impact focused venture capital fund investing in early-stage startups building technology and technology-enabled businesses. She serves as board committee chair and advisory board member of various investee companies. Prior to this, Ms. Szigetvari also had 20 years' experience with the International Finance Corporation, or IFC, beginning in 1998, where she focused on emerging markets principal investing and financing, primarily in the telecommunication, media, and technology, or TMT, sectors. For eight years she managed IFC's TMT business, first as the Head of the Africa and Latin America TMT businesses, then including four years as Global Head of the TMT group from 2015 to 2019, leading investment and portfolio activities across all emerging markets. Prior to joining IFC, Ms. Szigetvari held roles at DHL, Kraft Foods and McKinsey & Company. She holds various graduate degrees, including a Master of Business Administration degree from the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania.

Our use of cookies

We use necessary cookies to make our site work. We’d also like to set optional analytics cookies to help us improve it. We won’t set optional cookies unless you enable them. Using this tool will set a cookie on your device to remember your preferences.

For more detailed information about the cookies we use, see our Cookie policy

Analytics cookies

We’d like to set Google Analytics cookies to help us to improve our website by collecting and reporting information on how you use it. The cookies collect information in a way that does not directly identify anyone.