By Ed Attwood
Tributes pour in to a 'great CEO, mentor and friend', CFO John Tombleson to take over role
Grahame Maher, the CEO of Vodafone Qatar, has died after a short illness.
Maher, who was appointed to his position in May 2008, is understood to have passed away in hospital in Doha on Monday night after suffering a stroke at the end of last week.
John Tombleson, chief financial officer of Vodafone Qatar, will step in as acting CEO, the company said in a statement.
Australian-born Maher, 51, had previously worked as the head of Vodafone’s operations in the Czech Republic, Sweden, Australia and New Zealand.
He leaves behind a wife and two children.
In a statement, Vodafone Qatar said Maher had touched the lives of all he worked with.
"He was a great CEO, coach, mentor, and friend. We will all sorely miss his inspiration and vision, his passion and energy, and his love for all the people he worked with," the company said.
"The whole Vodafone family including its board of directors and employees extend their condolences to his wife Jenny Maher, to his daughters Jessica and Kate, and to his wider family."
Tributes have already been posted for the popular Australian. A blogger on the social networking site iloveqatar said Maher had played a key role in the Qatar community.
"What's he done? This is the guy that helped sponsor and support [iloveqatar] when we needed to support the community... He basically managed to send ripples through society and help people. Even if they didn't really know who did it," he wrote.
"Remember him as some guy who cared enough to make a world of difference to all the people of Qatar."
A second poster wrote: "What i liked about the man was that even though he was the CEO of a big company, when he turned up at our events he was so humble and just like anyone of us, easy to talk to and joke around with."
Vodafone Qatar was established in 2008 to provide competition to state-backed incumbent Qtel. The company, in which Vodafone holds a 23 percent stake, today provides services to more than 500,000 customers and, in the wake of a $1bn IPO, plans to hit profit in the last quarter of this year.
An absolute legend of a man.
All at Vodafone Australia will miss him terribly. He was a gentleman, a tireless worker and and it was an absolute pleasure to know and work alongside this man...
Rest in Peace Graham... Sincere condolences to your family
Kat and Nick Trikilis, Vodafone Kingston.
What an amazing leader and fantastic person. He will be missed
A great human with a thought for the unfortunate. Grahame Maher you will be missed. May God grant you rest in his arms. Let there be more Grahame Maher's in the world. Your deeds touched our lives. We salute you.
Grahame Maher was an inspiration to all who he ever touched. He was a true example of what a leader should be. The things I learned from him have held me through my entire career, and will continue to do so well into the future...
A true inspiration to so many people, such a kind and caring CEO who was more like a friend than a boss. Grahame touched so many people. VF as a whole will never be the same without this great man.
Deepest sympathy to his family.
Just want to offer my heartfelt condolences to Grahame's family at this terrible time.
Rest in Peace Grahame.
Paul Graham in Qatar.
A great loss to Vodafone Qatar.
There was recently an article published on Arabian Business from the late CEO of how his company will be competing with the local telecom Qtel in the coming period & within a years of successful operation the last Q4 will be posted with a profitability too.
I am not a member of VQ, but the article was so impressive that it took my attention & forced me to read & just praise the confidence of the late CEO
I wonder how will his post be filled & how will the company achieve the targeted mission in the forthcoming period to be in line with the vision of Mr. Maher
Its really a great loss not only for VQ but for the entire Vodafone company itself along with their family members. May god rest his soul in peace.
What an absolute loss to everybody that knew him and to those who never will.
I wonder if he knew just how many people he touched in his short life? What a man! i worked with Graham 5 years ago at VF Australia - yet just a few months ago spent hours on the phone and email with him - he was helping me with my uni assignment on cultural change! That was Graham. Genuine, gentle, generous and beautiful to the core. You will be so missed my friend.
I'm really going to miss you BIG G.. I have known you since Vodafone NZ and you have been such a big part of my life. I will hold onto the wonderful memories.