MTN says Nhleko resigns as group director

South Africa’s MTN Group said on Thursday its outgoing chief executive officer Phuthuma Nhleko will step down as director of the group and from the boards of five major units.

Nhleko is due to step down as the group CEO on Thursday and would be replaced by Sifiso Dabengwa, currently chief operating officer.

MTN, Africa’s largest mobile phone operator, said in a statement Nhleko will step down from the board of MTN Dubai, MTN South Africa, MTN Nigeria, MTN Irancell and MTN Syria.

Nhleko, known as a calculating dealmaker, has been rewarded for rapidly moving into risky markets such as Nigeria, Iran and Afghanistan in recent years.

His departure comes after spending nine years in the business.

During that time, Nhleko has expanded the company across the continent and the Middle East, without overpaying for acquisitions. Analysts have said this is rare in an industry littered with pricey deals.

Shares in MTN closed 2,83% to R136,57, lagging a 0,34% weaker JSE Top-40 index.—Reuters

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