Several senior staff have resigned from Nashua Mobile following the recent exit of MD Chris Scoble and a retrenchment programme at the independent cellular service provider.
Nashua Mobile, which is owned ultimately by JSE-listed Reunert, has in recent weeks lost its sales director, its GM for least-cost routing, its GM for operations and its GM for retail, says a source.
Reunert spokesman Carina de Klerk confirms the resignations but says the group’s shareholders should not be too concerned. “We have other staff who can assist in this positions in the meantime.”
De Klerk says Nashua Mobile has embarked on a broader restructuring that involves staff retrenchments. A TechCentral source says as many as 160 positions are being made redundant, but De Klerk says she doesn’t believe the figure is quite that high.
Like rival Altech Autopage Cellular, Nashua Mobile is exposed to the least-cost routing market, where it has taken advantage of arbitrage opportunities from high wholesale mobile call termination rates.
As those rates — which the operators charge each other to carry calls between their networks — come down, the opportunities to profit from arbitrage are going away.
Also, the mobile network operators, themselves feeling the pinch of the lower wholesale rates, have begun squeezing margins in cellphone sales channels.
Nashua Mobile is the country’s second largest independent cellphone service provider after Autopage Cellular.
Following Scoble’s resignation of MD in August, the company’s financial director, John Ellis, is acting in the role.
Former Altech chief operating officer Andy Baker has been named to replace Scoble, but he will only start on 1 March 2011 when a restraint of trade agreement with Altech expires. — Duncan McLeod, TechCentral