Tim Lowry, one of MTN’s top executives, has left the telecommunications group. A former MD of MTN SA, Lowry most recently ran the South and East Africa (Sea) region for the group.
MTN spokesman Pearl Majola says no one has been appointed to replace Lowry as vice-president of the Sea region.
Group chief operating officer Sifiso Dabengwa is acting in the position until a replacement is found, Majola says.
Lowry, who has returned to his native UK, has worked in the telecoms industry since 1977.
He joined MTN in 2007 as MD of the SA operation, replacing Maanda Manyatshe. He was also given the responsibility of looking after the Sea region.
Karel Pienaar, formerly MTN’s group chief technology officer, replaced Lowry in the SA role in 2009, though he continued to look after the region.
MTN said at the time that the role had been split because the two roles were too much responsibility for one person. However, sources at MTN say he was moved out of the SA role after a period of underperformance at the local operation.
No stranger to SA — or to MTN — the British-born Lowry played a key role in the formation of the company in the early 1990s.
As an executive at former MTN shareholder, Britain’s Cable & Wireless, he was actively involved in talks aimed at convincing the National Party government to change its mind about licensing only one mobile operator.
He’s worked for a wide range of operators since then, including holding senior-level positions at France Telecom’s Orange, Cable & Wireless and MTN, in positions that have taken him as far afield as Australia.
Lowry could not immediately be reached on his mobile phone to comment on his future plans. — Duncan McLeod, TechCentral