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Phuthuma Nhleko steps down from MTN group advisory role

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Phuthuma Nhleko, former MTN Group CEO.
Phuthuma Nhleko, former MTN Group CEO.

Phuthuma Nhleko, former CEO and executive chairman of MTN Group, has stepped down from the telco’s international advisory board (IAB).

Nhleko has been on the IAB, which is chaired by former president Thabo Mbeki, since its establishment three years ago, and today MTN announced his departure.

The Pan-African telecoms group established the IAB of eminent persons in July 2019, with the primary purpose to counsel, guide and support the MTN Group from time to time in fulfilling its vision and objectives.

Besides Nhleko and Mbeki, other members of the IAB include former Ghana president John Kufuor; Dr Aisha Abdullahi, former African Union commissioner for political affairs; Dr Mohammed el Baradei, former director-general of the International Atomic Energy Agency; and Dr Momar Nguer, president of marketing and services Total SA (France).

The IAB is non-statutory in nature and does not have any fiduciary responsibility.

Announcing Nhleko’s departure today, MTN said: “MTN wishes to advise shareholders that Phuthuma Nhleko has stepped down from the IAB, effective 6 August 2021. Phuthuma’s contribution to the IAB, since 2019, has been invaluable, and the board of directors of MTN wishes to extend its gratitude for his exemplary leadership and dedication to MTN and to his role as a member of the IAB.”

His departure from MTN’s IAB comes as he prepares to chair the Johannesburg Stock Exchange (JSE) board.

Nhleko, who led Africa’s biggest mobile network operator from 2002 until 2019, also serves as a member of the JSE’s group remuneration committee, group nominations committee and group deal committee.

The respected former telecoms executive previously worked as a corporate finance executive at Standard Corporate & Merchant Bank. He also served as a non-executive director on the boards of several public-listed companies, including Nedbank, Anglo American and BP.

Nhleko currently leads the Phembani Group, which he founded in 2012, and chairs the Phembani Remgro Infrastructure Fund, which has interests in petroleum, energy, cement and the resources industry.

He holds a BSc in Civil Engineering and an MBA.

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