Dirk Karl: MTN Group's visionary CPO, transforming sourcing

A career of enhancing sourcing and supply chain operations through visionary leadership and digital innovation

Dirk Karl is Group Executive and Chief Procurement Officer (CPO) of Global Sourcing and Supply Chain at MTN Group, a highly regarded telecommunications company.

He also serves as a valued Board Member of Global Sourcing Company. With comprehensive oversight over Sourcing and Supply Chain operations throughout the MTN Group, Karl is entrusted with managing an impressive annual spend of US$12bn across 19 countries, catering to the needs of over 280 million mobile subscribers.

Boasting a remarkable career spanning over 25 years, Karl brings a wealth of expertise in strategic sourcing, supply chain management, and IT to his role. His professional experience encompasses various sectors, including telecommunications, automotive, and finance, and extends across diverse geographical regions.

Prior to joining MTN Group, Karl played a pivotal role as part of the founding team of BUYIN, a leading telecom procurement alliance established by Orange and Deutsche Telekom. His contributions at BUYIN were instrumental in shaping the organisation's success.

Since his arrival at MTN in 2017, Karl has made significant contributions that have powered the company's sourcing and supply chain management operations. 

Through the implementation of multiple strategic initiatives, the sourcing business has witnessed remarkable growth, with EBITDA results increasing by more than 30%.

Karl's visionary leadership has propelled MTN's sourcing and supply chain functions to the forefront of the industry.

One of the key drivers of this success has been Karl's ambitious digitisation program, which leverages cutting-edge technologies like artificial intelligence and machine learning. A notable achievement is the in-house developed "Nerve Centre," a groundbreaking platform that harnesses the power of big data to unlock valuable insights and drive fact-based decision-making.

Recognising the need for innovation, impact and agility, Karl spearheaded an operating model transformation within the MTN Group.

This transformative endeavour embraced agile methodologies and tapped into a strategic talent pool of sourcing experts, supporting the company's aspirations to evolve from a telecommunications provider to a technology-driven entity.

Karl's remarkable contributions have garnered industry-wide recognition. He has been prominently featured in esteemed publications such as Forbes Middle East as one of the Top Regional Executives.

Under his leadership, the Global Sourcing and Supply Chain organisation at MTN Group was honoured with the prestigious "Best Use of Digital Technology" accolade at the CIPS Middle East Procurement Awards.

Most recently, Karl received the esteemed "Lifetime Achievement Award" at the 4th Africa Procurement and Supply Chain Awards, a testament to his outstanding accomplishments throughout his career.

In summary, Karl's tenure as Group Executive and CPO of Global Sourcing and Supply Chain at MTN Group has been marked by remarkable achievements and transformative initiatives.

His extensive industry experience, strategic vision, and relentless pursuit of innovation have not only propelled MTN Group's sourcing and supply chain functions to new heights but have also garnered widespread recognition within the industry.

Karl's outstanding leadership continues to shape the future of MTN Group and the telecommunications sector as a whole.

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