This German CEO Reportedly Fired 900 Algerian Workers & The Gov’t Struck Back Hard

By  |  February 23, 2020

Nikolai Beckers was named the CEO of the Algerian arm of Ooredoo, an international telecommunications company headquartered in Doha, Qatar.

But it was not much later that the government of Algeria decided to resort to punitive measures to send him away from the North African country.

Between August 2019 when he was appointed CEO and February 2020 when the fracas mature, Nikolai Beckers had given a total of 900 Algerians the boot.

The staff working with Ooredoo Algeria were sacked for no reasons. The situation garnered more controversy as the company was not suffering from or expecting any financial constraints.

According to Statista, the unemployment rate in the North African country is 12.35 percent as of 2019. Compared to Egypt’s 11.29 percent and Morocco’s 9.03 percent, one would understand that Algeria is one of the hardest places to land a job in the North African region.

For a businessman with up to 20 years of experience in the interactions – and infotech – industry, to wield so mighty an axe in a space of 7 months raises a lot of concerns.

Nikolai Beckers is said to possess strong leadership skills, evident in a track record of success.

He had led a number of prestigious multinational entities across Europe and Asia including Deutsche Telekom and T-Online France. The German holds a degree in Business Administration from the University of Köln, Germany.

But a decorated CV and an a globetrotting reputation did not make the Algerian government from taking action.

Having seen the impact of Nikolai’s actions and probably concerned it would continue, President Abdelmajid Taboun bought an order to immediately expel and deport the general manager.

The paper which came from the top said that Ooredoo was making profits – perhaps enough to even hire more Algerians rather than letting them go unconditionally.

While no follow-up has sufficed about Nikolai Beckers since the deportation, it is important to recall that the story is not a first of its kind.

In February 2019, the CEO of South African multinational telecommunications company MTN in Uganda, Wim Vanhelleput, was deported.

The Belgian was the fourth company executive to be deported from the East African country in a little stretch of a month. Though clear reasons were not stated, it was believed that these executives engaged in dealings which threatened national security.

Featured Image: Business Review

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