MTN CEO Rob Shuter heads to UK’s BT Group

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Rob Shuter is leaving MTN at the end of his contract in March 2021 to join UK’s BT Group.
Rob Shuter is leaving MTN at the end of his contract in March 2021 to join UK’s BT Group.

Outgoing MTN Group CEO Rob Shuter has been appointed CEO of BT Group’s enterprise unit.

The London-headquartered telecommunications company made the announcement on its Web site today.

BT Group is a British multinational telecommunications holding company that has operations in around 180 countries and is the largest provider of fixed-line, broadband and mobile services in the UK, and also provides subscription television and IT services.

In March, MTN, Africa’s largest mobile operator, announced Shuter will leave the company at the end of his contract in March 2021.

In a statement, BT says Shuter is currently group president and CEO of MTN Group, Africa’s leading mobile telecommunications company with 250 million customers across 21 countries in Africa and the Middle East.

Prior to joining MTN, he served as CEO of Vodafone’s European cluster as well as being CEO of Vodafone Netherlands.

Philip Jansen, BT Group chief executive, says: “I’m delighted to welcome Rob to BT. He brings a wealth of international telecoms experience and has a track record of driving innovation in business and consumer markets.

“This will make him ideally suited to drive forward the support we provide to UK businesses and public sector organisations. The UK’s economic recovery will depend on their success and BT wants to play a key part in supporting these critical parts of the economy.”

MTN appointed Shuter as its group president and CEO in 2016 but he only took up his role in 2017.

“I am looking forward to joining Philip and the broader BT team. BT Enterprise has a key role to play in delivering the BT ambition of becoming the world’s most trusted connector of people, devices and machines, and I am excited to be part of that journey,” says Shuter.

He is expected to join by the end of the 2020/21 financial year.

Gerry McQuade, current CEO of BT Enterprise, has announced he will retire from BT, the company says.

It adds that McQuade has spent more than 12 years at EE and then BT, initially joining BT as CEO of wholesale and ventures, before moving on to lead the integration of that unit with business and public sector to form the combined enterprise business in 2018.

Jansen says: “I’d like to thank Gerry for the contribution he’s made over a number of years. Most recently where he has led the creation of enterprise and has overseen the strengthening of our core business to deliver the best fixed and mobile networks in the UK. We’ve been discussing for a while the right time for Gerry to retire from BT and I wish him all the best for the future.”

In a statement today, MTN says the succession process for the group CEO role is on track and it expects to make an announcement in this regard in the next eight to four weeks.

It notes Shuter will complete his fixed four-year contract in March 2021 as announced earlier this year and this timing will enable a seamless handover to his successor.

In a market update, the company says it expects to report growth in earnings per share (EPS) of between 160% and 170%, while headline earnings per share (HEPS) growth is expected to be between 115% and 125%.

According to MTN, HEPS benefited from non-operational items for the six months ended 30 June totalling approximately 46c per share (June 2019: 55c negative impact on HEPS) of which more than half related to foreign exchange gains.

MTN has made meaningful progress in strengthening its financial position and maintaining a healthy liquidity position, says the telco.

In order to sustain this, and in line with MTN’s capital allocation framework, the board has decided not to declare a 2020 interim dividend in the context of the COVID-19 impacts and the material uncertainties these present. Should conditions warrant a final dividend, this would be no more than 390c per share, aligned to the current dividend policy, it adds.

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