TechCentral reported on Wednesday that Zim, who is founder of Afripalm Resources and a former head of Anglo American in SA, was likely to get the position. Molobela, whose chairmanship has proved highly controversial, will remain on the board as a nonexecutive director. He has been appointed as a director for a three-year term.
Zim’s appointment as chairman is effective from Wednesday, 16 February.
It’s the last time government is entitled to appoint the chairman of the group under its special “class-A” share rights, which expire on 5 March. Government is said to be concerned about losing the rights, which also give it veto power over the appointment of the CEO.
Zim’s first big task will be leading the process to find a new CEO for Telkom. Acting group CEO Jeffrey Hedberg has said he does not want the position permanently and will step down at the end of March.
Former Telkom chief financial officer Peter Nelson, who left in 2010 shortly after the early departure of former CEO Reuben September, has applied for the job. Telkom SA MD Nombulelo “Pinky” Moholi is also said to be front-runner for the position, though it’s not clear if she’d accept the post if it was offered to her.
Zim, who is close to President Jacob Zuma, brings a strong business background to the chairmanship of Telkom. He has previously served as CEO of M-Net, CEO of MIH SA, MD of MTN International and CEO of Anglo American SA. He is also a close associate of Atul Gupta, chairman of New Age Media, which publishes The New Age newspaper.
Telkom has also announced other changes to its board of directors. Navin Kapila, an Indian national with a background in telecommunications, has been appointed as a nonexecutive for three years.
Julia Hope and Jackie Huntley have been reappointed as directors, representing government on the board. The directorship of Victor Lawrence, also a government appointee, has been terminated. — Duncan McLeod, TechCentral