Telkom confirmed the news of Maseko’s appointment as its new group CEO in a statement to shareholders after TechCentral broke the news earlier on Thursday that the board had decided to appoint him to the position.
Armstrong, until now the MD of Telkom Business, has been named as group chief operating officer.
TechCentral understands that there was heated debate among members of Telkom’s board about which of the two men should be appointed to the top position. Both will assume their new roles on 1 April.
Maseko replaces Nombulelo Moholi, who stepped down late last year shortly after a dramatic intervention by communications minister Dina Pule at Telkom’s annual general meeting at which she voted against the appointment or reappointment of a number of Telkom directors. In addition to serving as MD at Vodacom South Africa, Maseko has also been chief operating officer of the Vodacom group.
“The appointment of a seasoned executive with telecommunications experience is another building block in Telkom’s turnaround process“, says Telkom chairman Jabu Mabuza, who plays down the talk of differences between directors over whether Maseko or Armstrong should have got the top job. “We went looking for leadership and we found that leader in Sipho.”
He says the board began with a shortlist of nine candidates, which was whittled down to five people — internal and external to Telkom — before settling on the final two, Maseko and Armstrong. During the process, it became clear that Telkom needed to create the position of chief operating officer, and Armstrong, because of his “excellent performance” running Telkom Business, was the natural person to take on the new role.
“We now have the board and leadership that can be fully seized of the challenges facing Telkom,” Mabuza says.
Despite Maseko’s experience at Vodacom, Armstrong has far more knowledge of the telecoms industry. This should position him well to assist and guide Maseko in what many consider one of the most challenging positions in corporate South Africa. — (c) 2013 NewsCentral Media
- See also: Telkom to name Maseko as CEO