By Ed Attwood
Australian-born Maher led Vodafone operations around the world before launching Vodafone Qatar
In a decade with Vodafone, Grahame Maher headed up operations in New Zealand, Australia, Sweden and Qatar.
Australian-born Maher graduated from the University of South Australia in 1995 with a degree in business marketing and finance. He developed and launched one of Australia’s first Mobile Virtual Network Operators (MVNO), which he sold to Vodafone in 1996.
Unsurprisingly, he soon found himself working for Vodafone full time, taking the CEO role at the telecoms giant’s New Zealand operations, where he increased the firm’s local market share from 16 percent to 53 percent.
Maher then returned to Australia to head up Vodafone’s operations there, spearheading a drive towards profitability in a competitive market. Under his tenure, Vodafone Australia reduced costs by 50 percent and saw revenue growth of 20 percent per annum.
Vodafone clearly knew its was onto a good thing. Maher then made the move to Sweden in 2004, where he stabilised the firm’s local operations and developed a sale and partnership agreement with regional giant Telenor Nordic.
Following a spell as chairman and CEO of Vodafone Czech Republic, Maher then took up the challenging role as CEO of Vodafone Qatar in May 2008. The move was Vodafone’s first in the Middle East, and the first business start-up launched by the operator in 10 years.
While taking on the strength of incumbent Qtel has been no easy task, Vodafone Qatar has secured over 500,000 customers in just over a year. In September, Maher predicted that the firm would turn a profit in the last quarter of 2010.
A fitness fanatic, Maher enjoyed long-distance running and cycling.
He leaves behind a wife and two daughters.For all the latest business news from the UAE and Gulf countries, follow us on Twitter and Linkedin, like us on Facebook and subscribe to our YouTube page, which is updated daily.
Very sad. A genuinely nice man who will be missed.