MTN Group ap­points Si­fiso as CE to suc­ceed Nh­leko

The Pak Banker - - Company& -

JO­HAN­NES­BURG: MTN Group Ltd., Africa's largest mo­bile-phone com­pany, said it ap­pointed Si­fiso Dabengwa to suc­ceed Phuthuma Nh­leko as chief ex­ec­u­tive of­fi­cer.

Dabengwa, who will take over when Nh­leko steps down on March 31, has been with MTN for 11 years and chief op­er­at­ing of­fi­cer since 2004, the Jo­han­nes­burg-based com­pany said in a state­ment to­day. Dabengwa, 53, has a de­gree in elec­tri­cal en­gi­neer­ing and an MBA.

Nh­leko, who has headed the com­pany for the past eight years, said in May he would not re­new his con­tract, which ex­pired in June. He agreed to stay on un­til March next year to give the board time to find his suc­ces­sor. Nh­leko will join the MTN Board as non-ex­ec­u­tive vice chair­man.

MTN has been stymied in four at­tempts to buy com­peti­tors in the last two years. The com­pany ended talks in June with Weather In­vest­ments SpA on buy­ing as much as $10 bil­lion in as­sets of Egyp­tian op­er­a­tor Oras­com Tele­com Hold­ing SAE. MTN and In­dia's Bharti Air­tel Ltd. failed in 2009 to reach agree­ment on a deal for the sec­ond time in as many years, while talks with Mum­bai-based Re­liance Com­mu­ni­ca­tions Ltd. col­lapsed in 2008.

In Au­gust, MTN said it will in­crease div­i­dend pay­outs be­cause there are few takeover op­por­tu­ni­ties that will add to earn­ings.

MTN, which op­er­ates across 21 coun­tries, added 1.25 rand, or 1 per­cent, to 128.25 rand as of 10:00 a.m. in Jo­han­nes­burg trad­ing. MTN said to­day it will abol­ish the po­si­tion of chief op­er­at­ing of­fi­cer and in­stead ap­point a chief ex­ec­u­tive of­fi­cer for the in­ter­na­tional op­er­a­tions. The com­pany is cur­rently try­ing to find and ap­point a suit­able can­di­date for the post. -Bloomberg

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