By Amina Ismail

Egyptian billionaire Naguib Sawiris has resigned as chief executive officer of Orascom and his deputy Tamer El Mahdi has been nominated as his successor, the company said on Sunday, without explaining his decision.

“Naguib Sawiris has submitted his resignation from his position as CEO effective January 1st, 2017,” Orascom Telecom Media and Technology Holding (OTMT) said in a statement.

Orascom has holdings in media, technology and cable businesses, but under Sawiris has sought to move further into the financial sector by creating a major investment firm.

Sawiris, whose interests range from construction to telecommunication, is a billionaire and a well-known business figure in North Africa and the Middle East. He has said he has been frustrated by the Egyptian authorities in his attempts to own a large financial institution.

“Mr. Sawiris will continue to assume all responsibilities of his current position until the appointment of the new CEO is completed and registered with regulatory authorities,” Orascom added.

Tamer El Mahdi, who has 22-year experience at Orascom, is the firm’s deputy CEO and served as the Chief Technology Officer (CTO) for OTMT and then became the CEO of Djezzy, the largest mobile operator in Orascom Telecom group, the statement said.

Orascom also said the member of the board of directors responsible for financial and administrative affairs, Yousef Shoukry, had submitted his resignation and Khaled Ellaicy had been appointed as his successor.

Ellaicy has 30 years of experience in accounting and finance, it said in the statement.