The South African mobile operator MTN Group Ltd has made a big appointment as the company named Chief Financial Officer Ralph Mupita as chief executive officer.
Mupita, being an internal candidate is now replacing the departing Rob Shuter as head of Africa’s biggest wireless carrier.
Johannesburg-based MTN, in a statement on Wednesday, August 19, stated that The 47-year-old man will take over the role from September 1.
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And of course, Shuter will remain available until the end of his fixed-term contract early next year, when he leaves to join British operator BT Group Plc as head of the enterprise division.
Naijtech.com gathered that the graduate of Harvard Business School, Mupita became MTN CFO in 2017 after nearly two decades at South African insurer Old Mutual Ltd.
Alongside Shuter, he has helped lead a strategy that has seen the carrier dispose of assets such as telecom towers and concentrate on fewer markets, with a plan to pull out of the Middle East announced earlier this month.
The company expects to dispose of its Yemen, Afghanistan and Syria businesses first, with others to follow in a phased manner.
In 2016 then-Chairman Phuthuma Nhleko named Shuter, 53, for the top job, luring him from Vodafone Group Plc. When he took up the post in 2017, a key task was to revive the carrier following a battle with authorities over undocumented subscribers in Nigeria, which resulted in a $1 billion fine.
However, MTN went on to have further clashes in the company’s biggest market, including over claims the firm illegally moved $8.1 billion out of the country and owed $2 billion in back taxes.
Both matters were eventually resolved in MTN’s favor, though the lengthy battles took a toll on the stock. The shares are down about 45% over Shuter’s 3 1/2 years as CEO.
MTN added that an update on filling the group’s chief financial officer position will be made by the start of September.