The resignation of MTN CEO Sifiso Dabengwa is a “loss to the industry”, says Vodacom CEO Shameel Joosub.
Dabengwa joined MTN in 2004 as the company’s CEO in Nigeria. He then became group CEO in 2011.
But Dabengwa resigned on Monday amid the company facing a US$5,2bn fine in Nigeria for failing to disconnect unregistered Sim cards in the country in a timely manner.
Since the announcement of the fine, MTN’s share price has tumbled from a close of R190,84 on Friday, 23 October to R159,42 at 1.44pm on Monday, 9 November. The JSE is also investigating MTN over how it first announced its fine in a Sens market update.
And in an interview on Monday following Vodacom’s interim results for the period ended 30 September 2015, Joosub commented on the news earlier in the day that Dabengwa has resigned from its rival with immediate effect.
“I think it’s a loss to the industry,” he said. “I think Sifiso is a stalwart of the industry, and obviously he’s had a lot of success over the years.”
Vodacom and MTN are close rivals in South Africa’s mobile market where the former has around 30m subscribers and the latter 29m.
Asked whether the problems MTN is experiencing in Nigeria were benefiting Vodacom in any way from a competitive standpoint, Joosub said: “No, I don’t think so. I think for me it’s more important that we’re consistently executing our strategy, and we don’t really focus too much on what’s going on outside there.
“Obviously, you have to be cognisant of what your competitors are doing, but I think you have to really execute very well on your plan,” Joosub said. — Fin24