New MTN boss vows to resolve crisis in two weeks

New MTN boss Phuthuma Nhleko
New MTN boss Phuthuma Nhleko
Following the resignation of Sifiso Dabengwa as the Chief Executive Officer of MTN, the telecommunication’s new executive chairman Phuthuma Nhleko has promised to resolve the company’s $5.2bn fine by the Nigerian Communication Commission, NCC within two weeks and reverse share price losses that followed reports of the penalty late last month.
Nhleko, who took the leadership mantle about 24 hours ago (on 9 November 2015), vowed to personally lead negotiations with the NCC which imposed the record fine for failing to disconnect 5.1 million unregistered customers before stipulated time.
The former MTN group CEO and current non-executive chairman, Phuthuma Nhleko, while responding to questions in an interview on a South Africa’s Radio Station on Monday that “We are doing our best to try to arrive at an acceptable outcome,”
It was gathered that the company’s shares have declined about 16% since the fine was reported on October 26.
Speculations have it that more senior executives at the mobile network may still face the music after the resignation of its group chief executive officer Sifiso Dabengwa.
“It was inevitable that heads would roll,” World Wide Worx managing director Arthur Goldstuck said in his reaction to Dabengwa’s resignation.
This could be a sign that the CEO was ineffective at moving ahead with negotiations with the Nigerian regulator or that he was pushed by the board, said Goldstuck.
The way MTN has handled its communications regarding the Nigerian crisis also put the spotlight on how the company is managed and how it communicates, Goldstuck added.
“One of the big criticisms is that MTN hasn’t kept investors informed,” he said.
“Its strategic decision-making is slow,” Goldstuck added
A director and analyst at telecoms, IT and media research firm Africa Analysis, Dobek Pater in his opinion said he had expected senior executives at MTN’s Nigerian operations to step down first, rather than South African-based Dabengwa.
We also gathered that the South Africa’s Johannesburg Stock Exchange (JSE) is also investigating MTN for the way it made its announcement on Monday October 26 regarding the $5.2bn fine. Media reports about the fine surfaced hours before MTN made the SENS announcement on that day. The JSE said it is also looking into possible insider trading at MTN by studying the trades that happened before the announcement.

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