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Hanging up: telecoms utility boss bows out

Home Government & Municipal Hanging up: telecoms utility boss bows out

SIPHO Maseko will step down as Telkom Group Chief Executive Officer and executive director of Telkom and its subsidiaries on 30 June 2022.

The group made the announcement in a Stock Exchange News Service (SENS) announcement recently, adding that they were in the process of appointing a successor and that a designate Group Chief Executive Officer would be announced in the “not too distant future”.

Commenting on his decision, Maseko said, “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. I will stay on until June 2022 to ensure a smooth transition for my successor. I am most thankful to my colleagues across our country, for trusting me to lead Telkom, and for supporting me throughout this journey of transition.”

He joined Telkom on 1 April 2013 at a time when the organisation faced severe challenges. “During his eight-year tenure, he turned the business around and evolved it from a traditional fixed business to a portfolio of businesses which comprises the Mobile, IT, Wholesale infrastructure business and the Masts and Tower portfolio,” the group said in its SENS statement.

“Under his leadership, the group has had many remarkable strategic achievements in its execution of its broadband led strategy which are reflected in the group’s current healthy position. The Mobile business grew to become the third largest mobile business in South Africa with more than 15 million customers generating R20 billion revenue.”

It said fibre footprint was expanded and the fixed customer base was migrated to new technologies (fibre and LTE). “To date, the number of homes connected with fibre exceeds the number of homes connected with copper.”

Under his watch, the group also diversified the revenue pool acquiring an IT business and commercialised under-utilised infrastructure assets such as masts and towers and data centres.

“The board would like to thank Sipho for his exemplary leadership, his contribution to Telkom and its shareholders and looks forward to further value enhancement during his remaining term,” the statement said.

However, industry observers believe, while recognising Maseko’s legacy, believe Telkom has underperformed when it comes to the rollout of fibre, particularly when you consider it once enjoyed a total monopoly in South Africa’s telecommunications industry.

“Indeed, it was tardiness by Telkom in rolling out home fibre – preferring instead to sweat its ageing copper assets – that provided the space for Vumatel and others, like Vox-owned Frogfoot, to emerge as strong contenders in the home fixed-line market,” said Duncan McLeod, founder and editor of technology news site TechCentral, in a recent article. –

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