Pieter Verkade has been appointed new MTN Group chief commercial officer, effective February 2013.
Currently the CEO of MTN Cyprus, Verkade replaces Christian de Faria, who retires in January 2013 after six years with the group.
In his new role, Verkade will be responsible for the strategic direction of the innovation, products and services strategy, as well as marketing across the group.
“His appointment comes at a critical point for MTN, as our operating environment is changing quite rapidly,” said MTN Group president and CEO, Sifiso Dabengwa. “We have entered a phase where network operators have to compete on more than just products and services.”
Verkade’s telecoms experience spans developed and emerging markets in Europe and Africa. Prior to becoming the CEO of MTN Cyprus, the Mediterranean country’s second largest mobile operator, he was the executive for commercial strategy and Mobile Money.
In this role, he oversaw the growth and deployment of MTN Mobile Money in 15 MTN markets. MTN’s mobile money portfolio has now grown to 8.2 million customers since launch in Uganda four years ago, MTN says.
Verkade operated as chief marketing officer for MTN SA for a two-year period from 2008, and also operated at C-Suite level since 2000 in a variety of roles. These include CCO for Orange NV (Netherlands), VP commercial for Orange (London), CFO for KPN/Orange (Belgium) and senior VP for Telenor (Norway).