MTN says Nhleko to step down as CEO in 2011

Phuthuma Nhleko, CEO of cellphone group MTN, will step down as CEO and group president in March 2011, the group said on Monday.

Nhleko, one of South Africa’s best-known black businessmen who has been MTN’s CEO since 2002, said in a statement that he will continue to deliver on MTN strategic priorities and ensure a thorough handover to his successor until his departure.

“I have given this decision very careful consideration. I feel it is the right time to secure the next generation of leadership for the group and the right time for me personally to start thinking about the next phase of my career,” Nhleko said.

MTN chairperson Cyril Ramaphosa said Nhleko’s commitment to continue as CEO until a successor is in place will ensure a smooth transition.

Under Nhleko’s leadership MTN has grown into a group with more than 100-million subscribers operating in more than 20 countries.

But Nhleko has twice failed to secure a tie-up with Indian cellphone operator Bharti Airtel, the most recent in September last year.—reuters

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