MTN Group appoints first Rwandan to post of CEO

Anthony Masozera, the current Chief Finance Officer (CFO) for MTN Rwanda, has been appointed the new Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of MTN Guinea Bissau. Masozera will be the first Rwandan to serve as CEO at the Johannesburg based MTN Group which operates in 21 states in Africa and the Middle East. 
Transferred to Uganda  MTN CEO Themba Khumalo.
Transferred to Uganda MTN CEO Themba Khumalo.

Anthony Masozera, the current Chief Finance Officer (CFO) for MTN Rwanda, has been appointed the new Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of MTN Guinea Bissau.

Masozera will be the first Rwandan to serve as CEO at the Johannesburg based MTN Group which operates in 21 states in Africa and the Middle East. 

His appointment was announced yesterday in a reshuffle that will see a number of other MTN Group’s top executives being moved to different operations across Africa. His appointment also means that he will be overseeing an operation of more than 200,000 active mobile subscribers.

Guinea Bissau is also an emerging market with increasing competition expected.

According to a statement issued by the group’s corporate communications office, Themba Khumalo, the current CEO of MTN Rwanda has been moved to Uganda as the new CEO for the Kampala operations.

Previously Khumalo was an executive at MTN South Africa before his appointment as CEO of MTN Swaziland.

Khumalo’s move to Kampala is seen as a promotion since he will be operating a subscriber base of more than 4 million subscribers.

During his stay in Rwanda, Khumalo oversaw the rise of subscribers to the 1 million mark, the introduction of the MTN Zone in Butare and the introduction of BlackBerry services.

The statement says that Khaled Mikkawi, the former CEO of the MTN operation in Liberia, will become the new boss at the MTN Nyarutarama offices.

Mikkawi was with Investcom for nine years before the company was acquired by MTN in 2006.

MTN Group President and CEO, Phuthuma Nhleko is quoted in the statement as saying that the appointments will go a long way towards helping MTN to achieve its vision of being the leading telecoms player in emerging markets.

“An appropriate degree of mobility of staff between our various operations facilitates increased learning’s across the business and provides our staff with attractive and meaningful opportunities for growth within emerging markets,” Nhleko said.

”Over time, this should further bolster our ability to attract and retain the best skill and capability across our footprint,” he added.

Others affected in the shuffle includes MTN Uganda’s current Chief Operations Officer (COO) Erik van Veen, who has been appointed the new CEO of MTN Zambia.

In the West and Central Africa region (WECA), MTN Guinea Bissau CEO, Frans Joubert, has been appointed CEO of MTN’s operation in Liberia replacing Mikkawi.

MTN, which has its humble beginnings in South Africa only 15 years ago, has grown into a multinational telecommunications giant employing over 15 000 people of varying skills and talents.

MTN recently published its annual results for the year ending 31 December 2008, which showed a solid performance despite the global economic slowdown which negatively impacted many other sectors last year.

Subscribers were up by 48 percent to 90,7 million compared to the same period in 2007.

Revenue was up by 40 percent from December 2007 and earnings before interest, tax depreciation and amortization rose to 36 percent compared to 31 in December 2007.

In recent years, the MTN staff complement has begun to reflect the internationalization of the company, showing more diversity in culture, language and ways of doing business.

Group Executive for Human Resources, Paul Norman, points out that this internationalization has brought the Group significant HR benefits.

“Through our expansion we have dramatically increased both our talent pool and our retention of key staff, who we can now offer international assignments,” Norman said.

“At MTN we recognise that our success is attributable to the depth and quality of our employees. Initiatives such as a strategic talent investment board are aimed at addressing the leadership capability and capacity needs of the organisation. The appointments we are announcing are the result of these efforts and reaffirm our commitment to the priority of effectively managing our people resources,” concludes
Norman.

MTN, being the first mobile telecommunications operator in Rwanda, started its operations in the country in 1998.  

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