In a shock development, Telkom has announced that its group CEO, Reuben September, is to “resign from his position and resign his directorships” when his contract ends in November.
His decision to leave comes in the wake of persistent market talk that the group’s recently appointed chairman, Jeff Molobela, had been trying to engineer September’s exit. September’s departure is likely to lead to fresh questions over government’s direct shareholding and involvement at the fixed-line operator.
Making the announcement, Telkom said it was “imperative for the company to maintain its continuity and focus on its business imperatives and to ensure that Telkom is ideally positioned for future growth, while not compromising on its commitment of creating value for its stakeholders”.
“The depth of Telkom’s existing leadership experience and expertise will ensure that the period of transition would be a smooth one.”
September’s exit comes at a pivotal juncture for Telkom. After having disposed of its stake in Vodacom, the group is investing heavily in a mobile network and in building its presence in data centres and broadband.
According to Telkom, September began his career at the department of posts & telecommunications in 1977 as a pupil technician. During his 33 years at Telkom, September rose through the ranks, to become managing executive for technology and network services, chief technical officer and chief operating officer.
He’d only been Telkom’s CEO for three years. He was named acting CEO in April 2007 after former CEO Papi Molotsane was fired. — Duncan McLeod, TechCentral