09 December 2016
| James Pearce
MTN Group has made a number of senior appointments as it continues to restructure in the aftermath of its dispute with the Nigerian government.
The troubled African operator has made a number of senior
changes, including appointing a new CEO and CFO, over the last
year after its embarrassing dispute with the government of
Nigeria over its failure to register or disable millions of
MTN was hit with a $5.2 billion fine, negotiated down to
$1.67 billion, as the Nigerian government claimed the SIMs were
being used by terrorists.
In its latest appointments, the operator has named former
Vodafone Germany CEO Jens Schulte-Bockum as its new group chief
operating officer, replacing Jyoti Desai, who is retiring.
Schulte-Bockum stepped down as Vodafone Germany CEO in June
2015 after three years in the role. He also has experience
heading up Vodafone’s Dutch unit, and worked as
corporate strategy director for Vodafone Group. He will take up
the role on 16 January 2017.
He will be joined at MTN by new executive head of business
enterprise Oliver Fortuin. Fortuin joins from BT, where he is
currently CEO of BT Global Services for sub-Saharan Africa. He
has previously held roles with IBM, HP and Lenovo, and will
join MTN on 1 March 2017.
Bernice Samuels will also re-join the company on 1 January
as group executive of marketing. Samuels was CMO for MTN South
Africa but left to become CMO of FNB South Africa in 2010.
She joins from beverages firm SABMiller, where she has been
executive director of strategy and business since May 2015, and
will be tasked with "lifting and repositioning product
development" MTN said.
Executive chairman Phuthuma Nkleko thanked Desai for her
seven year stint with MTN, which include spells as group CTIO
"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
"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,"