MTN picks Telkom’s Molefe as new finance chief

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Telkom’s current chief financial officer Tsholofelo Molefe is joining Pan-African telecoms group MTN in a similar role.

MTN announced Molefe’s appointment on Friday, saying it had completed a comprehensive review of the group strategy with a focus on accelerating growth, deleveraging the holding company debt and unlocking value.

The 51-year-old Molefe is leaving Telkom after serving as finance chief since July 2018 and will take up her new position as soon “as practically possible in 2021, but by no later than 1 October 2021”.

Molefe’s appointment is the latest in a series of executive changes implemented by Ralph Mupita, who assumed the group CEO role, replacing Rob Shuter, whose contract with the company comes to an end next year.

“We are thrilled to have an executive of Tsholofelo’s stature join us,” says Mupita. “The board is confident she has the experience required for the position. She will play a critical role in the growth of the business and unlocking of shareholder value.”

Molefe was formerly CFO at Eskom and her experience includes various senior positions in Eskom, Absa and Liberty, among others.

MTN also announced changes to the telco’s regional structure and the group executive committee.

Tsholofelo Molefe new MTN group CFO.
Tsholofelo Molefe new MTN group CFO.

Effective 1 January 2021, MTN Ghana will become part of the group’s West and Central Africa (WECA) region, a natural fit due to its geographic location in the region, says the telco. From that date, it notes, MTN’s Southern and East Africa and Ghana (SEAGHA) region will be known as the Southern and East Africa (SEA) region.

Ebenezer Asante, SEAGHA vice-president since 2017, will become the new WECA vice-president, and Yolanda Cuba, the group’s chief digital and fintech officer, will take the helm as SEA vice-president.

Cuba joined MTN in January 2020. Prior to that, she was Vodacom’s chief officer of strategy and merger and acquisitions and CEO of Vodafone Ghana, which saw her named telecom CEO of the year in 2018.

In a statement, MTN says: “The SEA region is critical to MTN’s growth ambitions and presents a good opportunity for growth in mobile financial services. It also has the largest potential for further expansion. With her extensive experience in telecoms and finance, Yolanda will play a key role in driving growth and strategic progress in the region.”

Commenting on the latest appointments, Mupita says: “We are excited about our journey of growth and it is important to ensure the management capacity is in place to sustain and accelerate our key strategic ambitions. The appointments follow the recent management announcement we made on 26 October and continues the process of further deepening the skills and experience required to lead the group’s ambitious drive into the future.

“Not only do these appointments safeguard continuity in the growth and scale of our connectivity business on the African continent, but, importantly, also support the acceleration of our digital platforms, de-risking of the business and unlocking of value. I am also particularly pleased with our continued steady progress in adding to the representation of women in our senior leadership team, which underlines MTN’s strategic focus on diversity and inclusion.”

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