JOHANNESBURG – Telecoms provider MTN Group has appointed former deputy finance minister Mcebisi Jonas as chairman-designate in a board shake-up following a series of regulatory issues that cost it more than $1 billion.
MTN, which has expanded in more than 20 frontier markets including Syria and Afghanistan, has faced a number of disputes in its biggest market Nigeria in recent years over dividend repatriation, tax payments and unregistered SIM cards. It also faces disputes in other markets.
“In recent years MTN Group has experienced challenging regulatory environments and highly competitive trading conditions,” the company said in a statement on Friday.
“The board is of the view that MTN Group has entered a more stable and settled phase, enabling it to now affect an evolution of the board.”
Jonas will take over from Phuthuma Nhleko, who has been at the helm for more than three-years, on Dec. 15, MTN said.
Other changes include Dr. Khotso Mokhele, the new Lead Independent Director, Alan Harper, Jeff Van Rooyen, and Koosum Kaylan who will step down from the board on December 15 and Peter Mageza and Dawn Marole who will step down from the board next year.
Nhleko will be part of the International Advisory Board, along with former president Thabo Mbeki, who has been announced as its chair.
MTN said in a statement: “The primary purpose of the IAB will be to counsel, guide, and support the MTN Group from time to time in fulfilling its vision and objective of being one of the premier African corporations with a global footprint in telecommunications, contributing to increased digital inclusion in Africa and the Middle East, a pivotal aspect of the fourth industrial revolution.
“‘While the IAB will be non-statutory in nature and not have any fiduciary responsibility, it will make an important contribution and play a highly valued role in ensuring that the board is guided and assisted in achieving the company’s vision in a technically complex world with uncertain and shifting geopolitical interests.”