UPDATE 1-Saudi Telecom CEO resigns in latest top mgmt departure

Sun Mar 17, 2013 3:46am EDT

* CEO Khaled al-Ghoneim resigns after less than year in job

* Several senior execs have left in the last 12 months (Recasts, add details)

DUBAI/RIYADH, March 17 (Reuters) - Saudi Telecom Co's Chief Executive Khaled al-Ghoneim has resigned after less than a year in the job, the latest senior management executive to quit as the former monopoly tries to arrest a sustained profit slump.

Ghoneim was appointed in June 2012 following the resignation of his predecessor Saud al-Daweesh two months earlier, while the heads of the state-controlled firm's domestic and international operations have also quit over the past 12 months.

STC has spent billions of dollars on foreign acquisitions in the past decade, according to Reuters calculations, buying into many markets including Turkey, Indonesia, Kuwait and Bahrain. Yet it remains reliant on home, with the kingdom providing 68 percent of revenue in 2012.

The company's shares have fallen 5.8 percent this year, underperforming the main Saudi index, which is up 3.7 percent.

STC said it had accepted Ghoneim's resignation, according to a statement on Saudi Arabia's stock exchange website, but did not name a replacement or say when Ghoneim would leave his position.

The Gulf's second-largest telecom operator by market value made a net profit of 7.28 billion riyals ($1.94 billion) in 2012, down 43 percent from a 2006 peak as tougher competition from home and write-offs from foreign units weighed on the bottom line.

Ghoneim joined STC from Riyadh-based Al Elm Information Security Company, a firm far lesser in size and scope than the state telco. ($1 = 3.7502 Saudi riyals) (Reporting by Matt Smith in Dubai and Marwa Rashad in Riyadh; Editing by Dinesh Nair)

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