Meet Selorm Adadevoh, a Ghanaian business executive who now heads the commercial wing of the largest telecommunication network in Africa, MTN Group. Before his current position, he was the Chief Executive Officer of MTN Ghana.
He will assume his new role in Johannesburg and will be responsible for leading commercial strategy and the group’s operations. In his new role, he will take on all executive responsibilities previously held by Jens Schulte-Bockum.
Adadevoh joined MTN in 2018 as CEO of MTN Ghana. Prior to that, he worked at Caribbean mobile network operator, Digicel, as well as with Millicom in Africa, before taking on roles in the USA, UK and Latin America.
Adadevoh once applied for a job as a cleaner in the UK but the former Taylor Woodrow employee was denied the job. After four months of unemployment, he managed to secure a job after attending 400 job interviews. He got an offer at Electrolux in the UK and would go on to build a career as a telecom and financial services business leader with 22 years of experience spanning strategy, general management, and technology management.
For over 10 years, he served as a consultant, advising C-level executives of several Fortune 500 companies like Vodafone, Hutchison 3G, FTSE 100, Procter & Gamble, United Airlines, Pfizer, and others. This helped him to acquire experience across multiple industries.
A graduate of Ghana’s Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST), Adadevoh’s journey in the corporate world started when he was at level 300. He would write letters to companies in the UK and civil engineering institutions in the U.S. for an internship opportunity. Out of the fifteen letters he sent out for internships, he got accepted for one — Taylor Woodrow, the largest engineering conglomerate in Europe.
“And for two months in the UK, all I did was printing and binding, I learned nothing about computers until I came back to Ghana,” he said at Springboard 2019 Global Convocation.
“However, when I came back to school, I applied back to them for a full-time job, and I was offered a full-time job, so I went back to Taylor Woodrow after KNUST.”
But he quit his job at Taylor Woodrow because he realized that he knew nothing about the job. “I didn’t know anything on the field of engineering except what I learned on paper at KNUST. After three weeks of being grossly frustrated and embarrassed, I quit,” he said.
“Being a civil engineer was all well and good, but all industries are going to need people who understand technology, so I decided to learn IT from books.”
In his spare time, the celebrated CEO plays tennis.