Telkom has filled three of the eight previously empty seats on its board as the company looks to the eventual appointment of a head to replace erstwhile chairman Lazarus Zim.
The latest addition to the board, Telkom announced this morning, is non-executive director Leslie Maasdorp. This brings the number of directors to nine, following the appointment of Jabulane Albert Mabuza and Kholeka Mzodeki earlier this week. Maasdorp had, for the past four years, served as an independent non-executive member on Cell C’s board.
Currently president of Southern Africa at Bank of America Merrill Lynch, Maasdorp has been a senior investment banker in SA for the past decade. He has also served in various capacities in government, including as deputy director-general of the Department of Public Enterprises and was a former special adviser to the minister of labour in 1994.
Maasdorp’s previous board experience includes serving as a non-executive director of Absa Group and Johnnic, and he is a former chairman of state-owned entity Trans-Caledon Tunnel Authority. His banking experience includes serving as international adviser to Goldman Sachs International and vice-chairman of Absa Capital.
He is the current chairman of Advtech, a JSE-listed company and provider of private education in SA. Maasdorp holds a BA degree in economics and psychology from the University of the Western Cape and a MSc degree in economics from the School of Oriental and African Studies, at the University of London.
Industry observers have grown increasingly concerned about the future of SA’s largest integrated communications company, as it recently lost several top executives, including Moholi, non-executive director Neo Phakama Dongwana, and Deon Liebenberg, who was managing executive of the group’s newly established Telkom Business Mobile unit.
Analysts have speculated that the company could see a “haemorrhage of talent” following the resignation of Moholi earlier this month, the departure of Zim, not long before that, and the growing mistrust internally and among investors.
Meanwhile, the state pension fund and owner of a 10.61% stake in Telkom, the Public Investment Corporation, has raised concerns and called for stability at executive level for the company. “It is critical that we establish stability at the executive and board levels as the entity has been losing value over an extended period of time.”
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