MTN Appoints New Group President, CEO


South Africa-based Telecoms giant MTN has on Monday named Vodafone Group Plc’s Rob Shuter as its new Chief Executive Officer, after resolving a dispute with Nigeria over a huge fine for failing to disconnect millions of unregistered mobile phone lines.

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Rob Shuter, a South African who is currently the Vodafone Europe CEO, will take over as its new group president and CEO next year, MTN confirmed in a statement. The current executive chairman Phuthuma Nhleko, said he is confident that with Rob as the new CEO, MTN will expand its coverage across Africa.

“MTN has weathered a rather difficult storm and will continue to review its governance and management operating structure to ensure that it operates at an optimum level and continues to replenish management talent to ensure a sustained growth of the business.

“I am confident that with the calibre of Rob Shuter as CEO, the group will resume its path to playing its rightful role in increasing connectivity and accelerating convergence across Africa and the Middle East.”

Nhleko, who stepped in as group chairman/CEO November last year, will revert to his post as non-executive chairman when Shuter takes over.

Rob Shuter
Rob Shuter

Shuter says he is honoured to have the opportunity to serve as MTN CEO. He said:

“I  look forward to working with Phuthuma and the MTN group board to ensure we build on a strong foundation laid over the last 15–20 years for the group to realize its full potential.”

Shuter has been CEO of Vodafone Netherlands since April 2012, and in October 2015, his role was expanded to include the other European countries, excluding the four large European markets: UK, Italy, Spain and Germany. He started his career as an accountant with Deloitte in Johannesburg before moving into the banking sector and working for two of SA’s big banks before joining Vodafone.

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The South African-based company was last year hit with a $3.9 billion fine for failing to cut off 5.1 million unregistered SIM cards, amid fears that some of the affected lines were being used by Boko Haram insurgents. On June 10 MTN announced that following negotiations with the Nigerian authorities, it had agreed to pay $1.7 billion as a final settlement.