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Leadership Team

World-class executives

Our executives blend world-leading management skills with a proven track record in the industry and strong market insight.

Issam Darwish

Issam ("Sam") Darwish

Executive Vice Chairman and Group CEO

Sam has over 20 years’ experience in the telecommunications industry and is the co-founder of IHS Towers (“IHS”), the largest independent tower operator in Europe, Middle East and Africa by tower count and the third largest independent multinational tower company globally. Previously he served as the Deputy Managing Director of CELIA Motophone Ltd, Nigeria’s first Global System for Mobiles operator. He was also the Vice Chairman and Director of Projects at Lintel, an international Global System for Mobiles 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.

Sam also serves as the Founder and Principal of Singularity Investments, a private investment firm with a focus on technology, media and telecommunications companies 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 telecoms consulting compan

Sam has supported incubator programs for aspiring tech entrepreneurs in Lagos, serves as a mentor to local businesses executives and contributes to local community projects throughout Nigeria. Under Sam’s leadership, IHS has launched an award-winning Corporate Sustainability and Responsibility (CSR) program, which is focused on enabling local community growth; and the IHS Academy, a world class online training portal comprised of numerous courses utilizing a variety of learning mediums ranging from classroom-based or E-learning through to the latest gamification techniques focused on developing the skills necessary to succeed in the telecoms sector. The Academy app and online interactive platform are available to all IHS employees and seek to help further develop IHS’ culture of continuous learning and excellence. The CSR strategy is needs-based, tailored to each country’s operations and focuses on four pillars including business ethics, people, environment and education. These various community building initiatives are a testament to Sam’s commitment to constant innovation and new skill development which will ultimately translate into stronger local business ecosystems throughout the emerging markets.

Sam is a member of the Wilson Center Global Advisory Council and is a frequent speaker at telecom industry events. He is a graduate, with distinction, of the American University of Beirut with a Bachelor’s Engineering Degree in Computer Communications.

Sam 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. 

William S Saad

William S. Saad

Co-Founder and Chief Operating Officer

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

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

Before establishing IHS, 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.

Ted Manvitz

Ted Manvitz

Chief Financial Officer

As Group Chief Financial Officer, Ted is responsible for the company’s financial management, debt and equity funding initiatives, M&A activities and the investor relations program. Prior to being named CFO, Ted had served as the group’s Chief Operating Officer and Chief Investment Officer as the company expanded into four new countries, raised over $5.5 billion in debt and equity funding and completed 13 acquisitions.

Before joining IHS in 2009, Ted was the Managing Director at ARM Capital Partners in Nigeria, where he led Investment AB Kinnevik’s private equity investments in West and Central Africa. 

Before moving to Africa, Ted was an Executive Director at JP Morgan in London and a Vice President of the Technology, Media & Telecommunications Group in San Francisco. Ted started his career as a corporate lawyer with Bryan Cave in Missouri, USA.

Ted has an MBA (Finance major) from the Kelly School of Business, Indiana University; a law degree with distinction from the University of Iowa College of Law; and a Bachelor’s Degree in Business Administration (Accounting major) from Avila University cum laude.

Mustafa Tharoo

Mustafa Tharoo

General Counsel

Mustafa is a leading corporate and commercial lawyer. He has over 15 years of experience in M&A and project transactions Nigeria, Ghana, Cameroon, Côte d'Ivoire, Zambia, Rwanda, Tanzania, Uganda and Sudan. 

Mustafa's primary fields of practice include banking and finance, property law and mergers and acquisitions. He has acted for and advised lenders on obtaining, perfecting and enforcing securities, and on reviewing and drafting loan and facility agreements.

Mustafa has also undertaken a variety of private and public company commercial work. He 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 sale, joint venture, partnership, and distribution and marketing agreements.

Before joining IHS, 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

David Ordman

Deputy Chief Financial Officer

David Ordman is the Deputy Chief Financial Officer of IHS Group and manages the finance, treasury, procurement and reporting functions. He joined the company in 2012. 

David trained at Pricewaterhouse Coopers (PwC) in the UK, and has over 20 years experience working in international telecoms and infrastructure companies.

David is a member of the senior leadership team and acts as its financial adviser, assisting with all financial planning and economic modeling. He oversees fiscal and fiduciary responsibilities, the finance, audit and investment committees and the Board of Directors.

Mohamad Darwish

Mohamad Darwish

Co-Founder and IHS Nigeria CEO

Mohamad has over 15 years experience working in the telecommunications sector and is the IHS Nigeria Chief Executive Officer overseeing IHS’ largest market.

He is a Co-founder of IHS, 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 strategic plan, the roll out of new sales strategies, and manages various key relationships with clients, regulators, ministries and NGOs.

As a member of the IHS Finance and Banking, Risk Management, and Ethics and Compliance committees, Mohamad also focuses on defining IHS Towers’ strategic plans on a group level while ensuring the Company is fully compliant with international standards and best practices. 

Mohamad Darwish 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. He is also fluent in both Arabic and English.

Ayotade Oyinola

Ayotade Oyinlola

Global Head of Human Resources

Nigerian born and raised, Ayotade brings over 20 years of HR and telecoms 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 also has extensive experience in driving international and African talent acquisition and development at various executive and operational levels within the telecoms sector. Previously, he served as Ericsson’s West Africa HR Director and the Sub-Sahara Africa Director for Learning and Development. In addition, Ayotade has held a number of 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; an Executive MBA (Strategy, Human & Organisational Behaviour and Strategic HR) from the Lagos Business School; a diploma in Entrepreneurship from the IESE Business School, Barcelona; Executive Leadership Development diplomas from Harvard Business School and the Wharton Business School; a Leadership and Public Policy diploma from the Harvard Kennedy School; a certificate in Strategic Human Resources from University of Cornell’s School of Industrial and Labour Relations, and a Talent Management diploma from the Stanford Graduate School of Business.

Ayotade is also 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. He is married and has three children.

Steve Howden

Steve Howden

M&A, Investments and Strategy Director

As M&A, Investments and Strategy Director, Steve is responsible for managing IHS’s growth strategy, executing M&A transactions, related equity and debt financings, as well as other strategic initiatives. He joined IHS in 2013 and since then has executed over $5 billion of capital raisings and 13 transactions. His role is to help develop and execute IHS’s long-term growth strategy.

Steve has over 12 years of corporate finance experience and has completed more than 16 African tower transactions and 12 financings. Previously he was a member of the Ernst & Young M&A department and in the Corporate Restructuring team 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.

James Goodwin

James Goodwin

Director of Audit and Risk

James joined IHS from Smith and Nephew, a FTSE 50 medical devices company serving customers in over 100 countries, where he was Head of Internal Audit.

In his current role, James applies his extensive experience in corporate governance, regulatory and ethical compliance to implement market-leading risk management practices.

He previously worked with large infrastructure organisations listing on the London Stock Exchange and in San Jose California supporting IPOs in the technology sector. He has led finance teams in the UK and in Switzerland and has been instrumental in developing various enterprise risk management frameworks. James qualified as a Chartered Accountant with Deloitte Haskins and Sells in 1988.