Telkom taps Cell C’s Simo Mkhize as CCO

Sibahle Malinga
By Sibahle Malinga, ITWeb senior news journalist.
Johannesburg, 21 Jun 2023
Simo Mkhize, chief commercial officer of Telkom Group.
Simo Mkhize, chief commercial officer of Telkom Group.

Telkom has appointed former Cell C executive Simo Mkhize as chief commercial officer (CCO) of the group.

Mkhize is a seasoned ICT professional, whose career spans more than 25 years, with experience in the telecoms industry acrossAfrica and Europe, including serving at local operators Vodacom and MTN SA.

Most recently, he worked as CCO of Cell C, where he was responsible for designing and developing the sales and marketing strategy, as well as managing overall customer satisfaction to drive revenue growth for the Blue Label Telecoms-controlled operator.

According to Telkom, Mkhize’s knowledge of the ICT industry makes him a valuable player in the competitive telco environment, with strengths in new-business development, strategic planning, channel management and operations management.

“This CCO position is critical for the Consumer Small Business Unit to ensure higher revenue and profitability in this highly-competitive telecommunications market,” says Lunga Siyo, CEO of Telkom Consumer.

“We eagerly welcome Simo’s appointment as he brings a wealth of experience into the consumer space and will be an asset to our exco team. We wish Simo all the best in his challenging role and look forward to his contribution to ensuring we meet our strategic objectives.”

In its latest financial results, Telkom posted flat revenue, with earnings marginally up by 0.9%. Overall revenue for Telkom Consumer was stable at R25 673 million. Mobile operations saw revenue growth of 4% and a 14.8% upswing in handset and equipment sales revenue.

The group’s short-term priority is taking Telkom to a sustainable profitability level – a process that will take 18 to 24 months, it said.

Mkhize says he expects the current economic climate – characterised by rising inflation and interest rates, and inconsistent power availability – to be a challenge over the coming months.

“I’m excited about this new challenge at Telkom Consumer and Small Business, particularly to drive growth and improve our customer experience.

“The group is on a clear path to further cement itself as a strong and influential player in the market, particularly in mobile, fixed and converged-communication technologies.

“I intend to hit the ground running by focusing on small wins over the next three to six months, to create a coherent commercial value chain,” he says.

“This will set a strong foundation that will enable us to achieve sustainable market share growth in the long-term, by delivering significant value for our consumers.”

Mkhize holds a Master of Business Administration from Milpark Business School and a Bachelor of Science in Engineering from Wits.

He has guest lectured for executive education students at Gordon Institute of Business Science on the Executive Management Programme, which focuses on doing business in emerging markets. He also lectured at Milpark Business School and served as a member of the Academic Assessment Board.