In a shock development, Telkom chief financial officer Peter Nelson has resigned from the telecommunications group sending its shares tumbling in late Tuesday trade on the JSE. The move comes less than a week after the departure of group CEO Reuben September.
In a short statement issued to the JSE’s Sens news service on Tuesday afternoon, Telkom says Nelson has informed the board of his resignation as director and chief financial officer with effect from 9 October 2010.
The move, which sent Telkom shares down 3,4% in the half an hour before markets closed on Tuesday, comes as a big surprise, as Nelson has only been at Telkom for 18 months. He joined the group in December 2008. Nelson had been seen as a potential successor to September and recently said he would be open to taking up the top post if it was offered to him.
Before joining Telkom, Nelson was chief financial officer at Netcare.
His resignation comes just days after Telkom appointed former Cell C CEO Jeffrey Hedberg as its acting CEO. This followed a decision by September to leave the group before his contract expires in November. Last month, the board notified September that it would not renew his contract as CEO.
Hedberg, who has only been in the CEO chair for two days, tells TechCentral that Nelson’s resignation is not related to any discussions he has had with the finance chief.
Nelson joins a growing list of senior executives to have left the telecoms group in recent months. Others who have resigned include September, head of strategy Naas Fourie and Telkom International MD Thami Msimango. — Staff reporter, TechCentral