Karl Olutoken Toriola is a distinguished Obafemi Awolowo University Alumnus, who has made the great university proud through his various feats and journey through the telecommunications world.
Mr. Toriola, is an Obafemi Awolowo University Alumnus, of the class of 1994, at the Department of Electronic and Electrical Engineering.
He holds an M.Sc. in Communication Systems, University of Wales, Swansea, United Kingdom. He has also attended the Harvard Business School, USA, London Business School, UK, and the Institute of Management Development (IMD), Switzerland, INSEAD and Wharton Business Schools.
Over the years, Karl has proven himself as a result driven leader, whom so many people admire and take cues from. In his yore-days at Vmobile, he brought standards, creativity and drive to the regional team and was instrumental to the development of an effective regional Technical structure, that eventually improved penetration & increased market share by delivering a quality & available network. The highly cerebral Toriola has worked with other companies including Ericsson and Econet (which underwent so much transformation to finally become Airtel). He worked with Econet as deputy CTO and became Chief Operations Officer when the telco morphed into Vmobile and later into Zain.
An accomplished multi-linguist, Karl speaks at least four languages fluently, English, French, German and his mother-tongue, Yoruba. He is a distinguished Fellow, Nigerian Society of Engineers, recipient of the Distinguished Alumni Award, Obafemi Awolowo University and a Member, Council of Registered Engineers of Nigeria.
Karl joined the MTN group in 2006, as Chief Technical Officer. He became a non-executive director for MTN Benin in 2010 and functioned in the same role in MTN Cameroon from December 2010 and moved on from both positions in July 2011. He was the chief technical officer of MTN Nigeria and CEO of MTN Cameroon. He is also a board member on a number of companies within the group, including MTN Nigeria.
Before his appointment as the CEO, MTN, Nigeria, Karl Toriola was the vice president for MTN Group’s West and Central Africa (WECA) region. He has been serving MTN Nigeria with distinction in this role for the past fifteen years. Karl Toriola, in his five years as VP of MTN’s WECA region, oversaw the progress of the operating companies in the region, notably the turnaround of MTN Ivory Coast and MTN Cameroon over the past two years.
In addition, the WECA markets have made commercial and strategic strides, including the improvement of market share and the development of mobile financial services. Mobile money business in particular is an important driver of the group’s medium- to long-term growth strategy. MTN Group Limited, formerly M-Cell, is a South African multinational mobile telecommunications company, operating in many African, European and Asian countries. Its head office is in Johannesburg. As of 30 June 2016, MTN recorded 232.6 million subscribers, making it the eighth largest mobile network operator in the world, and the largest in Africa. Active in over 20 countries, one-third of company revenue comes from Nigeria, where it holds about 35% market share. MTN Group is the primary sponsor of the South Africa national rugby union team and sponsors English football club Manchester United F.C. MTN owns 78.8 percent of MTN Nigeria, which is listed on the Nigerian Stock Exchange and contributes around a third to the group’s service revenue. MTN is the country’s leading provider of telecommunications and ICT services, as well as the second-largest company on the Nigerian Stock Exchange.
MTN Nigeria has the largest corporate social investment activities through its Foundation, which has transformed several lives and communities. Interestingly, MTN Foundation has invested over 22 billion Naira in several initiatives across the country in 16 years.
MTN Group announced his appointment as chief executive officer of MTN Nigeria Communications in October, 2020, though he assumed his new position from March 1, 2021.
His appointment has attracted encomiums from every quarters, especially from the Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Dr. Isa Pantami who said the federal government is pleased with the appointment of a Nigerian to lead MTN Nigeria.
Mr. Toriola held his first executive position in MTN in 2011 as the interim CEO for MTN Congo Brazzaville. His next executive position came in November 2011 as the CEO of the group’s Cameroon branch.
In 2015, MTN appointed Toriola as its Vice-President for West and Central Africa and he still functions in that role. He was appointed by MTN Group as a non-executive director in Jumia Group.
As MTN Nigeria’s CEO, Karl is committed towards complying with the policies introduced by the government, such as the development of the National Broadband Plan 2020 – 2025 and the Digital Economy agenda and maintaining continuous partnership with relevant stakeholders for the advancement of the digital economy. He will key into any government policies and initiatives and is willing and open to any collaborations and partnerships that will further advance the digital economy cause in Nigeria.