Telkom veteran moving on
Wholesale and retail to be split
THE TELKOM BOARD will meet shortly to approve a new organisational structure, which could see the wholesale and retail businesses being split.
This decision, if taken, would echo models already adopted by international players such as BT and Belgacom (though tailored for the South African market), and would likely hearten many industry participants who’ve often called for Telkom to do so. A wholesale/retail split for Telkom is envisaged under the regulatory environment and is considered a step towards creating two layers of competition, preventing cross-subsidisation of the retail layer.
The proposed organisational change is one reason – although not the foremost consideration – why 30-year Telkom veteran Wally Beelders (48) is moving on from the beginning of April.
Beelders’s current position – that of chief sales and marketing officer (CSMO) is a role that’s key to a telecoms group, because the incumbent focuses on customers. It’ll be filled by Godfrey Ntoele in the interim.
But the position of CSMO in its current form would be likely to become redundant under a new organisational structure.
Beelders says his main reason for moving on is that he’s been excited by the changing landscape of a deregulating market and wants to take on a new challenge. But he’s already received a host of calls from industry players who may or may not be able to “confuse me with an offer” in the coming weeks.
Although Beelders says modestly that he’d hesitate to call himself a specialist at anything, he does undoubtedly have a few areas of specialisation.
It’s interesting that with his intimate knowledge of the inner workings of the incumbent, set against the backdrop of a market that’s dying to take market share away from it, Telkom hasn’t tied Beelders in with any sort of restraint of trade.
Rather, CEO Papi Molotsane said in a statement that Telkom’s loss would be the industry’s gain.
This is a seemingly mature response from the incumbent in the context of the need for competition to lower prices and broaden market access.
Excited by the changing landscape. Wally Beelders