Lazarus Zim has resigned as Telkom’s chairman, the JSE-listed telecommunications group told shareholders on Tuesday.
Zim informed Telkom’s board of directors of plans to retire as chairman and director at the end of the company’s annual general meeting scheduled for October.
His resignation may be seen by shareholders as a blow to Telkom. Senior sources at the company say Zim had brought a level of stability and improved governance to the operator after the departure of former chairman Jeff Molobela, who remains on the board.
Molobela helped lead a board process that resulted in the early departure of former Telkom CEO Reuben September after he was told his contract would not be renewed. September was eventually replaced by long-serving Telkom executive Nombulelo Moholi in the CEO role.
Zim has been at the company for only 20 months, having been appointed in February 2011 by former communications minister Roy Padayachie. Zim, who is founder of Afripalm Resources and a former head of Anglo American in SA, had his term extended in February 2012.
His departure is likely to fuel speculation about government’s plans for the company. After communications minister Dina Pule said at the end of May that cabinet had decided not to support a deal to sell 20% of Telkom’s equity to Korea’s KT Corp, she was given three months to report back on a plan for the company.
That deadline, which expired at the end of August, came and went without a word from Pule or cabinet. — (c) 2012 NewsCentral Media