MTN Hires Former Vodafone Germany CEO

Another top executive from Vodafone’s ranks is set to join Africa’s biggest mobile network by subscriber numbers, MTN, in 2017.

MTN on Wednesday announced new additions to its senior management team, among which includes the former CEO of Vodafone Germany, Jens Schulte-Bockum, who will start his new role on January 16, 2017.

Schulte-Bockum is set to join MTN just before Rob Shuter, the current CEO of the European Cluster at Vodafone Group, takes the reins as group CEO at the African mobile network in March 2017.

Shuter previously held senior management roles at Vodacom Group, Standard Bank and Nedbank prior to joining Vodafone Group. Vodafone is the parent company of Vodacom.

Meanwhile, Schulte-Bockum was Vodafone CEO between 2012 and 2015. Prior to that, Schulte-Bockum’s roles ranged from being COO of Vodafone Germany and CEO of Vodafone Netherlands.

“Jens will succeed Jyoti Desai, who is retiring. Jens has extensive operational experience in the mobile telecoms sector, with his last senior role being as CEO of Vodafone Germany between 2012 and 2015,” said MTN in a market update to shareholders.

“We expect Jens to bring extensive experience in the consumer business, as well as the area of large scale transformation in a convergent operation,” added MTN.

MTN has also hired other high-profile executives in two senior positions as part of its management shake up.

The current CEO of BT Global Services Sub Saharan Africa, Oliver Fortuin, will assume the position of MTN’s executive head of business enterprise, effective March 1 2017. Fortuin previously held senior roles at IBM, HP and Lenovo.

Meanwhile, Bernice Samuels has re-joined MTN as group executive of marketing, effective January 1 2017. Samuels was previously chief marketing officer at MTN SA, prior to assuming a similar role at FNB.

MTN’s executive chair, Phuthuma Nhleko, welcomed the new hires.

“These senior management appointments bring to finality the management aspect of a large scale transformation and operational review process which I am confident will place the group in good stead to capitalise on its many prospects and reach its full potential in a rapidly transforming and exciting sector,” said Nhleko.

“We have attracted individuals of high calibre and wide, relevant experience, to further enhance the existing management team, consistent with the anticipated trajectory of the group,” Nhleko added.

MTN is Africa’s biggest mobile network with over 200 million subscribers across the continent and Middle East.


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