Sifiso Dabengwa will replace Phuthuma Nhleko as MTN group CEO and president on 1 April, the mobile operator announced on Monday morning. Nhleko will stay on as nonexecutive deputy chairman.
At the same time, the group is doing away with the role of chief operating officer, which Dabengwa had filled until now, and creating the new group position of CEO of MTN International.
Dabengwa, 53, who has a BSc in electrical engineering and an MBA, was seen as the natural internal candidate to succeed Nhleko.
Prior to joining the MTN group in 1999 he was an executive director at Eskom. His career at MTN started as MD of the SA operations.
In 2004, he was promoted to chief operating officer and in a dual role was also seconded to the position of CEO of MTN Nigeria to oversee growth and consolidation at the West African operation.
Since returning to SA, Dabengwa has worked closely with Nhleko in the development and execution of the group’s growth strategy.
MTN has also announced it is creating a new position of CEO of MTN International, which holds all of the group’s subsidiary operations outside SA.
“Given the strong growth and development of MTN International, it has been decided to abolish the position of chief operating officer and in its stead to appoint a CEO of MTN International to focus more intensely on the opportunities available.”
MTN says an executive search is already underway to find a suitable candidate to fill the new position. Nhleko will serve as nonexecutive chairman of MTN International in addition to his role as deputy chairman of the group board. He will assume both responsibilities in October 2011. — Staff reporter, TechCentral