MTN Group appoints Sifiso as CE to succeed Nhleko
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