Ex Viettel CEO is Vietnam’s new information minister

By Vo Hai   October 24, 2018 | 02:57 pm GMT+7
Ex Viettel CEO is Vietnam’s new information minister
Vietnam's new information minister Nguyen Manh Hung. Photo by VnExpress/Vo Hai

Nguyen Manh Hung, former CEO of military-run telecom giant Viettel, was officially appointed Minister of Information and Communications Wednesday.

The appointment was formalized after 461 of 469 National Assembly (NA) delegates voted yes on the decision.

Hung, who holds the rank of a Major General, studied telecommunication electronics in Russia, got a masters degree in telecommunication in Australia and a degree in business administration in Hanoi.

The native of Phu Tho Province, two hours northwest of Hanoi, has been with Viettel Corporation since 1989, when it was known as Sigelco. He rose quickly from a technical assistant to an investment manager in 1995. Hung served as Viettel's CEO from 2014 until he was appointed acting minister last July.

He is said to have played a key role in the development of Viettel, which is currently Vietnam's top telecommunications service provider with operations in 10 overseas markets. Last year, the firm had revenues of VND249.5 trillion ($11.1 billion) and it aimed to become a global top 10 telecom firm in the next two years.

Hung's appointment followed the official dismissal of his predecessor Truong Minh Tuan by the assembly Tuesday.

Tuan had been temporarily suspended from his position in July for signing a decision to approve the acquisition of private pay TV firm AVG by the state-owned telecom firm MobiFone without the Prime Minister’s approval. This decision was taken while he was the deputy information minister from 2011 to 2016.

MobiFone, the country's third largest telecom firm, made headlines early in 2016 when it announced it was breaking into the pay TV market with the acquisition of a 95 percent stake in AVG.

Government inspectors concluded that the deal had violated investment laws and caused an estimated loss of about VND7 trillion ($307 million) to the state budget.

It is the first time in many years that an active minister in Vietnam has been dismissed.

After Tuan’s suspension, the Politburo had also appointed Hung as the new Party head of the information ministry.

 
 
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