Former MTN Ghana CEO, Serame Taukobong has been appointed CEO-designate of Telkom Group to replace Sipho Maseko, who has led the company for the past eight years.
Taukobong, a telecommunications industry veteran, will become CEO-designate on 1 October, but will assume full responsibility as CEO of the group on June 30, 2022, when Sipho finally leaves.
“Serame is a seasoned executive, with deep experience in the ICT sector in South African and the continent. His appointment ensures continuity of our value-unlock strategy,” said Telkom Chairman Sello Moloko in a statement.
“Having worked under Maseko’s leadership for three years, I know I will be taking over a solid business with a capable and committed team,” Taukobong said in the statement.
“The team and I are conscious of the challenges that lie ahead and are committed to attracting and retaining the best people, winning in the marketplace and delivering value for shareholders,” he said.
Taukobong joined Telkom in June 2018 and has extensive experience in telecoms, having spent about 10 years at rival MTN Group, where he held several senior roles which included chief operating officer and later CEO of MTN Ghana.
As CEO of the Telkom consumer business, the mobile business customer base grew three-fold to 15 million and its revenue almost doubled to R20-billion within a three year period, Telkom said.
Under his leadership, the mobile arm has become the third largest mobile business in South Africa.
“The board, group CEO and the group CEO-designate remain committed to structurally separate Telkom and unlock value for shareholders,” the partly state-owned operator said.
Among the value-unlock exercises, Telkom is looking for investors for its masts and towers business, which it reckons is undervalued since it is trapped in the group structure. It is also considering spinning off its data centre business.
The unbundling exercise was started by Maseko, who has been credited for successfully turning the operator around from a business facing declining fixed-line voice revenue to a digitally led one fit to compete with the top two players, MTN and Vodacom.
During the transition period, Taukobong will continue to have oversight of the Telkom consumer business, while a recruitment process for his successor starts immediately, Telkom said.