Boardroom Shake Up at Africa’s Biggest Wireless Carrier

MTN Group Ltd. appointed former South Africa Deputy Finance Minister Mcebisi Jonas as chairman; he will replace Phuthuma Nhleko, who plans to step down in December after almost two decades as chairman or chief executive officer of the Johannesburg-based company. Jonas, who was already a non-executive director of MTN, was deputy finance minister for almost three years before being removed by former President Jacob Zuma in 2017. Nigeria’s ex-central bank Governor Lamido Sanusi has been appointed as a non-executive director this comes as MTN prepares to list its local Nigerian unit on the Lagos stock exchange, a condition of the settlement of a $1 billion regulatory three years ago. The business is the largest of MTN’s 20-market portfolio, accounting for almost a quarter of all subscribers, and has been hampered by a series of government and local authority disputes that have hurt the company’s share price. Sanusi is now the Emir of Kano, a high-ranking position in Africa’s most populous nation and biggest crude producer. A separate board of prominent people to advise on broader African issues will be headed by former South African President Thabo Mbeki and includes John Kufuor, ex-leader of Ghana and Nhleko will also be a member of that committee. The stock held onto gains and traded 2.4 percent higher. MTN shares have gained almost 19 percent this year, valuing the company at 199 billion rand.


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