Telkom will exit the consumer wireless market in Nigeria. The group says it wants to quit the code division multiple access (CDMA) business in the West African country as soon as possible.
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There is growing uncertainty among senior Telkom officials about the future of the group’s chairman, Jeff Molobela. Senior Telkom sources say Molobela’s contract as chairman expired at the end of last week and has not been renewed.
Telkom will focus its energies on training new communications technology skills to keep pace with industry demands, says acting CEO Jeffrey Hedberg. Hedberg, speaking at Telkom’s annual Satnac conference, says Africa is a technology opportunity waiting to happen. However, he says the greatest challenge the continent faces is a lack of skills.
Could former SABC CEO Dali Mpofu or former Vodacom CEO Alan Knott-Craig be approached to take the reins at listed telecommunications group Telkom? Mpofu and Knott-Craig are two of the high-profile people external to Telkom whose names have been linked to the job in recent weeks.
JSE-listed Blue Label Telecoms says a controversial contract signed with Telkom’s ailing Nigerian operation, Multi-Links, is being reviewed. Blue Label co-CEO Mark Levy says the contract has reached its annual review time, and the company is willing to make some concessions to help save the troubled Multi-Links.
SA’s cellular communications market is about to get a big shake-up as two players, one new, Telkom Mobile, and one reinvigorated, Cell C, get ready to go toe to toe with each other and incumbents MTN and Vodacom. SA’s smallest mobile operator, Cell C, has never had an easy time of it. Launched a decade ago after a particularly troubled birth, the operator has faced an uphill battle against dominant incumbents MTN and Vodacom.
Telkom is trying urgently to renegotiate multiple contracts entered into by its troubled Nigerian subsidiary Multi-Links. If it can’t reach new agreements with the suppliers, Multi-Links could be forced to shut up shop. That’s the stark warning from Telkom acting CEO Jeffrey Hedberg, who had been running the Nigerian business until a few weeks ago, when he was called on by Telkom’s board to head up the group following the premature departure of former CEO Reuben September.
Telkom nonexecutive chairman Jeff Molobela, under fire for allegedly overstepping his mandate and interfering in the day-to-day operations of the group, has hit back at his critics, saying he’s been unfairly maligned. Molobela used a press conference in Johannesburg on Wednesday to slam “innuendo from a number of quarters” and refute claims that he “recklessly ignored corporate governance”.
Outgoing Telkom chief financial officer Peter Nelson has sold nearly R1,8m worth of the group’s shares in the open market just days after he announced he would be stepping down from the telecommunications group. Telkom informed the market late on Tuesday that Nelson sold 53 421 ordinary shares last Friday, 23 July, a week after he surprised shareholders by announcing he would step down.
Reuben September’s decision to step down early as CEO of Telkom wasn’t unexpected. All eyes are now on the board, which must appoint his successor. Will it make the right choice? Or will the decision be political? It was probably inevitable that September didn’t stick around at Telkom until his con- tract ended in November. When the board elected not to renew his contract, the long- serving Telkom executive took it badly, say company insiders.