MTN announces three new top jobs

By:
James Pearce
Published on:

Former Vodafone Germany CEO Jens Schulte-Bockum has joined as group COO, Oliver Fortuin has been named executive head of business enterprise, and Bernice Samuels rejoins as group executive of marketing

MTN group has made a number of senior appointments as it continues to restructure in the aftermath of its dispute with the Nigerian government.

The troubled African operator has made a number of senior changes, including appointing a new CEO and CFO, over the last year after its embarrassing dispute with the government of Nigeria over its failure to register or disable millions of SIM-cards.

MTN was hit with a $5.2 billion fine, negotiated down to $1.67 billion, as the Nigerian government claimed the SIMs were being used by terrorists.

In its latest appointments, the operator has named former Vodafone Germany CEO Jens Schulte-Bockum as its new group chief operating officer, replacing Jyoti Desai, who is retiring.

Schulte-Bockum stepped down as Vodafone Germany CEO in June 2015 after three years in the role. He also has experience heading up Vodafone’s Dutch unit, and worked as corporate strategy director for Vodafone Group. He will take up the role on 16 January 2017.

He will be joined at MTN by new executive head of business enterprise Oliver Fortuin. Fortuin joins from BT, where he is currently CEO of BT Global Services for sub-Saharan Africa. He has previously held roles with IBM, HP and Lenovo, and will join MTN on 1 March 2017.

Bernice Samuels will also re-join the company on 1 January as group executive of marketing. Samuels was CMO for MTN South Africa but left to become CMO of FNB South Africa in 2010.

She joins from beverages firm SABMiller, where she has been executive director of strategy and business since May 2015, and will be tasked with “lifting and repositioning product development” MTN said.

Executive chairman Phuthuma Nkleko thanked Desai for her seven year stint with MTN, which include spells as group CTIO and COO.

"These senior management appointments bring to finality the management aspect of a large scale transformation and operational review process which I am confident will place the Group in good stead to capitalise on its many prospects and reach its full potential in a rapidly transforming and exciting sector. 

"We have attracted individuals of high calibre and wide, relevant experience, to further enhance the existing management team, consistent with the anticipated trajectory of the Group,” Nkleko added.