Sipho Maseko to leave Telkom next year

Telkom SA reception desk.jpg

Sipho Maseko, the CEO and executive director of Telkom Group and its subsidiaries, is to step down next year.

His last day will be 30 June 2022, a month after Telkom is due to publish its annual results for the current year.

Telkom said the process to appoint his successor is "well underway" and that a designate group CEO would be announced "in the not-too-distant future".

“I feel now is the right time for me to step aside and make way for a new leader who will take Telkom to even greater heights,” Maseko said in a separate statement.

However, it wasn't the right time for investors, as Maseko's announcement was followed by a drop in Telkom's share price.

Since joining Telkom in 2013, Maseko is credited with transitioning the business from a traditional focus on fixed line to a portfolio of operations spanning mobile, IT, wholesale infrastructure business and a masts and tower portfolio.

At market opening on Friday the share price was down 6.10% – a "two month low" at the time , according to Reuters. Share prices improved over the course of trading on Friday, however, as of Monday the price is yet to recover to the same levels seen prior to the announcement.

According to the group's 2021 annual report, group revenue increased 0.4% last year, with a 41% increase in mobile data revenue offsetting a decline in fixed-voice revenue.

The business was hit by lower business spending and supply chains, it also saw a 10.9% revenue decline in the enterprise segment due to "a continued weakening in legacy voice and data requirements".

However, FTTH connectivity reached 51.1% and on the future of its fibre network, Telkom said: "We are excited that our fibre-based transport and access infrastructure enables us to convert last mile infrastructure into a seamless end-to-end customer experience, providing scalable revenue-generating opportunities in the near future."

Also generating revenue, masts and towers subsidiary Gyro showed growth after commercialising existing towers and executing on a new build pipeline. Masts and towers revenue increased by 6.6% supported by growth of 8% in the number of new leases.