Highest paid bosses: MTN vs Telkom vs Vodacom

Updated financial statements from South Africa’s top mobile operators in MTN, Telkom and Vodacom, show how much each top executive was paid over the past year.

Telkom’s annual report, published on Tuesday (25 July), showed that its chief executive officer, Sipho Maseko, amassed a sum of R25.9 million – up from his R14.5 million take in 2016.

Maseko’s salary was actually only up slightly from 2016 (R16.25 million), but was boosted by the R9.64 million paid out in shares over the period.

Along with the company’s reported growth, Vodacom CEO, Shameel Joosub, also enjoyed a salary hike, taking home a basic salary of R9.2 million, with a short-term incentive bonus of R10.8 million.

Joosub also received a payout on his long-term incentive bonus (LTI) of R14.3 million, taking his total remuneration for the year to R35.65 million.

MTN Group’s executive chairman Phuthuma Nhleko was paid a R72.2 million salary for the 2016 financial year, despite the group posting a first-ever annual loss in its 22-year history.

Nkhleko drew a salary as chairman, as well as for when he took over as executive chairman to guide MTN through its Nigeria crisis.

His non-executive director salary came to R3.98 million; he then drew a salary of R30 million for his role as executive director.

He was further granted a R38.19 million bonus for the year, taking his total earnings as executive chairman to R68.19 million, and his total earnings to R72.17 million for the year.


Read: Here’s how much more money South African CEOs make than you do


Highest paid executives

Despite posting its first-ever loss, MTN executives were very well-rewarded in the last financial year, with eight executives paid over R10 million, and accounting for almost half the top paid execs listed below.

This includes former MTN CEO Sifiso Dabengwa, who was given a R19.6 million golden handshake in the wake of the Nigeria crisis, as well as former CFO, Brett Goschen who also left the company in 2016.

In total, the 20 top paid executives in South Africa’s mobile space earned a collective R347.5 million – an average of R17.4 million per executive.

Executive Company Role Total pay
Phuthuma Nhleko MTN Executive Chairman R72.17 million
Shameel Joosub Vodacom CEO R35.65 million
Sipho Maseko Telkom CEO R25.90 million
Sifiso Dabengwa MTN Former CEO R19.56 million
Ismail Jaroudi MTN VP MENA R18.85 million
Michael Fleischer MTN Chief Legal R17.25 million
Stephan van Coller MTN VP Digital and Business R15.13 million
Jyoti Desai MTN COO R14.09 million
Deon Fredericks Telkom CFO R13.48 million
Till Steichert Vodacom CFO R12.63 million
Isaac Mophatlane Telkom Former BCX CEO R11.67 million
Attila Vitai Telkom Head of Consumer R11.62 million
Vuyani Jarana Vodacom ED: Regional Operations R10.71 million
Brian Armstrong Telkom COO R10.30 million
Brett Goschen MTN CFO R10.15 million
Vivek Mathur Vodacom COO R10.14 million
Ferdi Moolman MTN CEO MTN Nigeria R10.13 million
Len de Villiers Telkom CIO R9.622 million
Ian Russel Telkom BCX CEO R9.50 million
Alphons Samuels Telkom CTO R8.95 million

Cell C is not a JSE-listed company and does not disclose remuneration to top executives, however this may change when its acquisition deal with the listed Blue Label Telecoms is concluded.

Blue Label Telecoms will release its annual results for 2017 in August, followed with the release of its integrated report in October.


Read: SA mobile subscribers in 2017: Vodacom vs MTN vs Cell C vs Telkom

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Highest paid bosses: MTN vs Telkom vs Vodacom