Taukobong takes over the reins at Telkom early

Johannesburg- Telecommunication group Telkom will usher in the new year with a new CEO at the helm after mainstay boss Sipho Maseko opted for an early exit.

Sunday World reported in August that Telkom executive Serame Taukobong would replace Maseko at the helm of the company – news Telkom later confirmed.

Taukobong who is currently the CEO of Telkom’s consumer business was expected to take over from Maseko in July.

However, the company took the market by surprise this week when it announced that Maseko would hand over the reins to Taukobong at the end of this year. Maseko will, however, remain as Telkom’s employee until the end of June on an advisory capacity to Taukobong.

“During this period, Sipho will be available to the new group CEO and the board in an advisory capacity. The board is confident of the stability of the group and would like to thank Sipho for his commitment to an orderly leadership transition,” the company said.

Taukobong joined Telkom in 2018 as CEO of consumer business, which oversees the group’s mobile business. Telkom’s mobile business is now the third-largest mobile business in South Africa with more than 15 million customers, generating more than R15-billion in revenue.

Taukobong has extensive experience in the mobile telecoms market, having spent 12 years at MTN.

He held numerous leadership roles within MTN, including CEO of MTN Ghana, CMO of MTN South Africa, and COO of MTN Uganda.

Ofentse Dazela, a director for pricing research at Africa Analysis, said Taukobong had acquired extensive telcoms experience in Telkom and also at MTN where he spent 12 years holding leadership positions. Dazela said that this gave some level of comfort that he possessed a good balance of requisite skills that would ensure that Telkom flourished far beyond where it was today.

“The exciting part is that the new CEO has the opportunity to unlock more value by unbundling the group’s businesses and listing them separately. Considering that the big driver of the valuation is the market sentiment on the Telkom share price.”

Dazela also paid a glowing tribute to Maseko. “He was an exceptional and courageous leader that was never shy to defend and articulate Telkom position. He is perhaps Telkom’s most successful CEO to date.”

Winds of change are also blowing at Telkom’s rival MTN. The telecoms giant said Godfrey Motsa would be stepping down from the role of MTN SA CEO next month – ending a five-year stay in the role.

He will be replaced by Charles Molapisi – currently group chief technology and information officer.

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