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MTN Group rejigs structure to ‘accelerate growth’

MTN Group rejigs structure to ‘accelerate growth’
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South Africa’s MTN Group has reviewed the structure of the mobile phone group to accelerate growth across its business units including MTN Nigeria.

The executive changes come amid last October’s announcement of Karl Toriola as CEO designate of MTN Nigeria, and the appointment of outgoing CEO Ferdi Moolman’s to the new exco role of Group Chief Risk Officer, with both effective from March 1, 2021.

Ralph Mupita, MTN Group President and Chief Executive Officer announced the completion of the comprehensive review of the mobile group’s strategy “with a focus on accelerating growth, deleveraging the holding company debt and unlocking value.”

MTN Group rejigs structure to 'accelerate growth'
Ralph Mupita, MTN Group President and Chief Executive Officer

While more details of the revised strategy will be presented following the release of MTN’s 2020 full-year results in March 2021, MTN has appointed a new Group Chief Financial Officer (GCFO) as well as changes to the Company’s regional structure and the Group Exco, according to Mupita.

Ralph Mupita, MTN Group President and Chief Executive Officer announced the completion of the comprehensive review of the mobile group’s strategy “with a focus on accelerating growth, deleveraging the holding company debt and unlocking value.”

– Ralph Mupita, MTN Group President and Chief Executive Officer

“We are pleased to announce the appointment of Tsholofelo Molefe as the new GCFO. Tsholofelo (51) will take up the position as soon as practically possible in 2021, but by no later than 1 October 2021”, he says about the qualified chartered accountant, CA(SA), expected to bring “deep financial, risk and telecommunications experience.”

As Telkom’s GCFO since 2018, as well as its Chief Risk Officer and Deputy CFO prior to that, Tsholofelo played a key role in the strategic transformation programmes at Telkom, according to the mobile phone group.

Prior to working at Telkom, Tsholofelo was the Finance Director at Eskom as well as the CFO for First National Bank’s Personal Banking division. She is also a Non-executive Director on the board of Curro Holdings.

Tsholofelo will also join the Group board and take over from Sugentharan Perumal who has been acting in the position of GCFO since 1 September 2020.

“We are thrilled to have an executive of Tsholofelo’s stature join us,” the MTN Group CEO says. “The board is confident that she has the experience required for the position. She will play a critical role in the growth of the business and unlocking of shareholder value.”

MTN Group: Changes to Regional Structure and Group Exco

Effective 1 January 2021, MTN Ghana will become part of the Group’s West and Central Africa (WECA) region, a natural fit due to its geographic location in the region. From that date, MTN’s Southern and East Africa and Ghana (SEAGHA) region will be known as the Southern and East Africa (SEA) region.

Ebenezer Asante, the SEAGHA Vice President since 2017, will become the new WECA Vice President, and Yolanda Cuba, the Group’s Chief Digital and Fintech Officer, will take the helm as the SEA Vice President.

Ebenezer, 52, joined MTN in 2008 and is a highly experienced executive who has held senior positions in the Group, including CEO of MTN Ghana and CEO of MTN Rwanda. He is also a board member on a number of companies within the Group.

Yolanda, 43, joined MTN in January 2020. Prior to that she was Vodacom’s Chief Officer of Strategy and M&A and CEO of Vodafone Ghana, which saw her named telecom CEO of the year in 2018.

The SEA region is critical to MTN’s growth ambitions and presents a good opportunity for growth in mobile financial services. It also has the largest potential for further expansion. With her extensive experience in telecoms and finance, Yolanda will play a key role in driving growth and strategic progress in the region.

Serigne Dioum, Group Executive for Mobile Financial Services, will join the Exco as the Group Chief Digital and Fintech Officer. Serigne, 46, joined MTN in 2009 and has an established track record in the telecoms sector, with strong experience in mobile financial services (MFS).

Before joining MTN, he held senior positions in MFS, operational marketing, value-added services and data at Orange. Serigne is highly qualified and experienced to drive digital innovation and financial inclusion as well as build and scale these platforms as part of MTN’s growth strategy.

Kholekile Ndamase, Group Executive for Mergers and Acquisitions (M&A), will assume the new Exco role of Group Chief M&A and Business Development Officer. Kholekile, 40, joined MTN in 2016 from RMB, where he led the equity-based financing business and was responsible for financing solutions and M&A execution.

Kholekile’s experience and leadership capacity is important to the group’s portfolio optimisation drive, itself key to the strategy. This includes the asset realisation programme, which aims to reduce debt, simplify the portfolio, reduce risk, improve returns and take advantage of expansion opportunities.

These executive changes follow those announced in October: Karl Toriola as CEO designate of MTN Nigeria and Ferdi Moolman’s appointment to the new exco role of Group Chief Risk Officer. Both are effective from 1 March 2021.

“We are excited about our journey of growth and it is important to ensure that the management capacity is in place to sustain and accelerate our key strategic ambitions. Today’s appointments follow the recent management announcement we made on the 26th of October and continues the process of further deepening the skills and experience required to lead the Group’s ambitious drive into the future”, according to Mupita.

“Not only do these appointments safeguard continuity in the growth of our leading and scale connectivity business on the African continent, but, importantly, also support the acceleration of our digital platforms, de-risking of the business and unlocking of value. I am also particularly pleased with our continued steady progress in adding to the representation of women in our senior leadership team, which underlines MTN’s strategic focus on diversity and inclusion.”

“I look forward to the contribution of the appointed executives in driving the company forward,” he adds.

The Group Exco will be as follows: 

  • Ralph Mupita – Group President and Chief Executive Officer
  • Tsholofelo Molefe – Group Chief Financial Officer
  • Jens Schulte-Bockum – Group Chief Operations Officer
  • Godfrey Motsa – MTN South Africa CEO
  • Karl Toriola – MTN Nigeria CEO (effective 1 March 2021)
  • Yolanda Cuba – Vice President SEA (effective 1 January 2021)
  • Ebenezer Asante – Vice President WECA (effective 1 January 2021)
  • Ismail Jaroudi – Vice President MENA
  • Serigne Dioum – Group Chief Digital and Fintech Officer (effective 1 January 2021)
  • Ferdi Moolman – Group Chief Risk Officer (effective 1 March 2021)
  • Lele Modise – Group Chief Legal Counsel
  • Felleng Sekha – Group Chief Regulatory and Corporate Affairs Officer
  • Paul Norman – Group Chief Human Resources Officer
  • Charles Molapisi – Group Chief Information and Technology Officer
  • Kholekile Ndamase – Group Chief M&A and Business Development Officer (effective 1 January 2021).
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