Meet Michael

Career Highlights

Michael Ikpoki is an accomplished Multinational Business Executive and Leader with proven experience in successfully managing and growing significant businesses and delivering optimal shareholder value in the largest economies in Africa.

A lawyer by training, Michael has over twenty five (25) years regulatory, commercial, operational and leadership experience in the telecoms/fast moving consumer goods Industry in Africa.

CEO & Adviser

(2016 till Date) – the NOW (2nd Career)

2016 till Date

2016 till Date

McKinsey posits that Africa needs much larger and well-run companies to contribute towards a $5.6Trillion African economy by 2025.

Michael has had the privilege of being part of the pioneer staff of MTN Nigeria in 2001 and he was able to contribute in his own small way to the company’s transformational growth story, eventually becoming its first Nigerian CEO in August 2013. With the benefit of this rich experience, Michael appreciates and believes that there is an abundance of inherent entrepreneurial and human capacity to build great world-class companies with significant scale and strong ethical foundations within Nigeria and across Africa.


  • Michael is clear about his responsibilities, which include dedicating time to advise Investors/Investor Groups, African companies and private equity firms on business market-entry and expansion opportunities across West Africa.
  • He also commenced a selective mentorship programme for CEOs/Senior leaders and also speaks to select audiences on telco/ICT, leadership and business growth in Africa.
  • Michael leads a team of Senior telco professionals to provide advisory/consulting services on Telecom/ICT in areas including Strategy, Technical/Commercial Due diligence, Business Operations, Policy, Regulatory and new business development.


  • Michael has served as an advisor to several Investor Groups and companies, guiding them through the process of market entry and operations in Nigeria. He has also worked with several Investors/company Boards in the telecom value chain/ICT to develop strategy, design appropriate operational processes, oversee business operations in support of business growth objectives. This includes identifying, recruiting and on-boarding new CEOs in these Organizations.
  • Michael has advised and mentored CEOs of growth-driven African companies in ICT and Consumer markets as well as served as an independent and objective sounding board and resource to Executive leadership teams.
  • He still serves as a telecom Industry expert in Consulting/Advisory teams, working on several projects in Africa within the Operating and Regulatory space, as well as advising telecom/ICT investors on key trends/developments in key West African markets.
Michael Ikpoki speaking

Advisor, Multinational Business Executive & CEO

(1995 - 2015) – The Foundation (1st Career)



Michael became the CEO of MTN Nigeria in July 2013. MTN Nigeria was the largest subsidiary in the MTN Group and the largest significant contributor to MTN Group’s financials at the time.

Michael led his team to achieve a significant business turnaround in 2013 and grew the company to achieve the following: become a $4B business with 60 million customers, the largest contributor to ICT sectoral Gross Domestic Product (GDP) in Nigeria, the largest telecom Operator in Africa and the Number 1 ranked telco in the global ranking of Carriers for consistency in business performance/shareholder returns as reported by IE Market Research (October 2014).



He became the CEO of MTN Ghana (the 4th largest operation in the MTN Group). Within his first year as CEO of MTN Ghana, Michael instilled a strong commercial business mindset which reversed a slowing top-line growth trajectory to 15% year-on-year topline growth in 2011 and culminating in a record 21% growth in 2012. He developed the Mobile Money business as a strategic differentiator and growth vehicle that inures till today. He also drove a culture change management project to provide a strong institutional foundation for sustained continuous operational excellence. In 2013, he was given the Telecom CEO of the year award at the Ghana telecom awards. In its 25th year anniversary, MTN Ghana celebrated Michael for his “visionary and exceptional leadership” and “contribution to the Organization’s 25-year journey”.



In 2008, he led the transformation of the Sales & Distribution operations to full FMCG regional operations. This transformed the telecom channel landscape by creating regional distribution models, enhanced value creation to the channel and significant increase in sales for the business (average 25% annual revenue growth between 2006 and 2010). MTN Nigeria won an award at its Group Leadership Conference in 2009 for this transformational programme. The new Regional distribution model became the Industry standard in Nigeria.



In an interesting and perharps unprecedented career move, Michael was transferred laterally in July 2005 to the commercial side of the business to become General Manager, Sales & Distribution (Northern Region). By November 2006, he was the Sales & Distribution Executive (Sales Director) responsible for consumer sales in the company and reporting to the CEO of MTN Nigeria as part of the Executive Committee of the company.



Michael was also part of the pioneer Regulatory team in MTN. Michael joined MTN as a Regulatory Adviser in 2001 and grew to be a General Manager in 2004 responsible for regulatory compliance/affairs and managing MTN’s relationship with Government In these roles, he built and managed the Institutional frameworks for MTN’s regulatory relationships and was actively involved in influencing legislative review of the principal Industry legislation in 2003.

Advisor, Multinational Business Executive & CEO


Michael was part of the pioneer legal staff in the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) that developed the legislative/regulatory framework and processes that birthed the Nigerian Telecommunications Industry. He worked in NCC between 1995 and 2001.

MTN Pays a visit to Fashola
Michael Ikpoki at event 1
Michael Ikpoki at event 4
Michael gives a speech at MTN Ghana award ceremony
Michael Ikpoki at MTN Ghana


Date of Birth

30th August 1969

State of Origin

Rivers State

Marital Status



Bachelor of Laws (LLB), Rivers State University of Science , Port-Harcourt, Nigeria (1990).

BL, Nigerian Law School, Lagos (1991). Called to the Nigerian Bar


Reading, music, movies, also a keen golfer


  • Telecommunications Regulatory Master Class
  • Management training on analytics management; operations
  • Executive training on sales management
  • Finance for senior Executives and global leadership. Courses attended at Lagos Business School
  • INSEAD and London Business School
  • General Management Programme (GMP 8) in Harvard Business School in 2010
  • Also participated in the International Coaching
  • Federation (ICF) Mentoring programme run by the Neuro-Leadership Institute, UK in Sept 2016-Jan 2017