MTN has advised that it has appointed Rob Shuter as the new Group President and CEO of the company, following the successful resolution of its Nigerian dispute.
Shuter would replace MTN Executive Chairman, Phuthuma Nhleko, who stepped in as acting CEO of the company to proactively deal with the Nigerian regulators following the resignation of Sifiso Dabengwa as group CEO in November 2015.
Shuter, a South African national, is the current CEO of the European Cluster at Vodafone Group and has extensive experience in telecoms and banking, having held senior management roles at Vodacom Group, Standard Bank and Nedbank prior to joining Vodafone Group, MTN said.
“Rob may commence as soon as it is practically possible in 2017, but not later than 1 July 2017, after the completion of his current contractual obligations,” the mobile operator said.
“MTN is confident that Rob will bring experience and new insights to the CEO role having had many years in the telecoms sector both in Africa and Europe as well as in banking where his expertise will help as MTN continues to develop its new business strategy.”
MTN announced earlier in June that it resolved a dispute with the Federal Government of Nigeria (FGN) and agreed to pay a total cash amount of 330 billion naira over three years – the equivalent of R25 billion.
The Nigerian Communication Commission (NCC) had previously slapped MTN with a $5.2 billion fine last year, for failing to disconnect more than five million unregistered SIMs on its network.
This fine was later reduced by 25%, but MTN elected to take the matter to Nigeria’s courts.
MTN said it aims to increase it focus on new revenue streams by appointing a new VP M&A and strategy effective 1 October 2016. “The appointee has a wealth of banking experience….his name will be announced before 30 June 2016,” the company said.
The company added Mike Harper, Lerato Phalatse, Mike Bosman and Trudy Makhaya to its board in South Africa, with Paul Hanratty, Stan Miller, and Nkululeko (“Nkunku”) Sowazi being appointed to the group board.
Nhleko will revert to his role as non executive chairman as soon as Shuter assumes his new position.
“MTN has weathered a rather difficult storm and will continue to review its governance and management operating structure to ensure that it operates at an optimum level and continues to replenish management talent to ensure a sustained growth of the business,” he said.
“I am honoured to have the opportunity and look forward to working with Phuthuma and the MTN Group board to ensure that we build on a strong foundation laid over the last 15 – 20 years for the Group to realize its full potential,” Shuter said.