Former MTN CEO scores R23 million golden handshake

Former CEO at MTN Group, Sifiso Dabengwa, scored a R40 million salary in 2015, including R23.7 million ‘compensation for loss of office’, despite a massive fine imposed on the group in Nigeria last year under his watch.

The Nigerian Communication Commission (NCC) hit MTN with a $5.2 billion fine for failing to disconnect more than five million unregistered SIMs on its network, while Dabengwa was in charge at the group.

He subsequently stepped down in November, with former CEO, Phuthuma Nhleko, taking up position as head of MTN – under the role of acting executive chairman.

On Monday, the mobile operator released its annual report for 2015, showing that Dabengwa was paid a salary of R8.42 million; R1.08 million in ‘post employment benefits’; R2.88 million in ‘other benefits’; and R23.66 million ‘compensation for loss of office’.

Adding share gains to the payout, Dabengwa received a total package exceeding R40.58 million.

Current chief financial officer, Brett Goschen received a salary of R7.56 million, with a total package exceeding R9.26 million.

And for his work between November and the month ended March 2016, Nhleko received a salary of R5 million. The former group lead has been at the forefront of negotiations in Nigeria – however, the fine still stands.

The three top company executives received a combined package of R54.84 million, the annual report showed.

MTN Nigeria’s CEO Michael Ikpoki, also stepped down in November, after the fine was imposed on the group. MTN paid  Ikpoki R17.26 million ‘compensation for loss of office’ amount, out of a total remuneration of R26.891 million.

According to Bloomberg, MTN shares have declined 25% since the fine – later reduced to $3.9 billion – was made public in October.

The stock traded 1.72% lower at R144.80 as of 12h15 in Johannesburg, valuing the company at R267 billion.

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Former MTN CEO scores R23 million golden handshake