Esther Akinnukawe
Executive In Residence •
  • Biography

Esther Akinnukawe is the Chief Human Resources Officer (CHRO) of MTN Nigeria Communications PLC, a multinational corporation and Nigeria’s leading telecommunications brand.

She is a successful Human Resources transformational business Leader with an amazing career spanning three decades across some of the major sectors in Nigeria such as Consulting Services, Education, Banking, and now Telecommunications.

As CHRO and business leader, Esther has pioneered diverse best-in-class HR Transformational strategies for business performance optimization and sustainability. Under her leadership, MTN Nigeria has received numerous prestigious awards – Employer of the Year Award, NECA Employers’ Excellence Award, Outstanding Gender Leader Award to commend MTN’s contributions towards fostering gender equality in the workplace, etc.

To add to her laurels, Esther was recognized as one of 31 female change-makers taking initiative and making an impact in Africa by Rising Women Africa/Global Group Media (NBC Washington Post). She was also recently awarded the HR Person of the Year 2023 by the HR People Magazine Awards.

In addition to her current role in MTN Nigeria, Esther also serves on the board of Edfin Microfinance Bank as an Independent Non-Executive Director.

She holds a bachelors degree in International Relations from Obafemi Awolowo University, bagged herself an Executive MBA degree from IESE Business School, Universite de Nevara in Spain, and completed her Advanced Management Programme (AMP) at Harvard Business School. She is a chartered member of the Chartered Institute of Personnel Management (MCIPM) and a professional member of the Institute of Directors (IOD) and Society for Human Resources Management (SHRM).

Esther’s life mission is to live a life of impact and significance, influencing others to become the best they can be, while enjoying the ride. She actively contributes to actualizing this mission and vision through mentoring and coaching support for people yearning to maximize their lives.

Esther adds value through facilitation of human resources, leadership, and faith workshops and enjoys reading, listening to music, and exploring new places. She is happily married and blessed with two lovely children.

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