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Top Telkom execs take package

Telkom's chief of strategy, Naas Fourie, and MD of its international business unit Thami Msimango have taken voluntary retrenchment packages.

Two of Telkom's top executives, Thami Msimango and Naas Fourie, have taken voluntary retrenchment packages that the telecommunications utility has been offering as part of its downsizing exercise.

Both will leave at the end of May, along with 132 other staff who also accepted voluntary retrenchment packages, Telkom CEO Reuben September announced in an e-mail circulated to the group's staff at the end of last week.

Msimango is MD of Telkom's international business unit, Telkom International, and has spent about 26 years working his way through the group's ranks. In 2007, he resigned and joined Vodacom for a short while, before returning to Telkom a few months later.

Fourie is chief of strategy at Telkom, and was instrumental in guiding the group's restructure that led to its unbundling of its shareholding in mobile operator Vodacom last year. Telkom now plans to launch its own mobile network later this year.

A qualified chartered accountant, Fourie at one stage led the team in Telkom's sales and marketing division that set the pricing for the services that the group offered to clients. He was also once managing executive of Telkom's customer service unit.

Telkom has refused to comment on the retrenchment and one of its spokespeople said it was a confidential matter between Telkom and its employees.

In his announcement, September said the voluntary severance and early retirement packages being offered to employees were being done to improve competitiveness, reduce the cost base and improve sustainability.

September said of Msimango and Fourie: “Over the years I drew much comfort from their dependability, their understanding of the industry and their contribution to the success of Telkom.

“I am also grateful to both Naas and Thami for the guiding role they played in Telkom's transformation and in positioning the company for the future. Thami was of enormous support, and sacrificed much personally in managing the international operations of the Telkom Group and Multi-Links in Nigeria. Naas – on the other hand – was always willing to go the 'extra mile' no matter how demanding the circumstances.”

September said all departments reporting to Fourie would now report to Telkom's CFO, Peter Nelson, and those reporting to Msimango would report directly to September for the time being.

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