Telkom appoints Taukobong as CEO designate
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TELKOM yesterday appointed Serame Taukobong as the group’s chief executive designate, ushering in a new era for the partially state-owned telecommunications company.
Taukobong, who is currently the chief executive of Telkom Consumer Business, had been appointed effective October. He would assume the role of group chief executive from July 1, 2022 after Sipho Maseko officially leaves the group, Telkom said.
“In line with the board’s leadership transition plan, Sipho and Serame will work together for the remainder of Sipho’s tenure to ensure orderly transition of the group CEO designate and the stability of the business. During this transition period, Serame will continue to have oversight of the Telkom Consumer Business,” said Telkom in a statement.
Telkom said a recruitment process for his successor at Telkom Consumer Business would start immediately.
Telkom said Taukobong joined the group 2018 and was an industry veteran, having spent about 10 years at MTN, where he held several senior roles, including chief operating officer and later chief executive of MTN Ghana.
“As CEO of the Telkom Consumer Business, the mobile business customer base grew three-folds to 15 million, and its revenue almost doubled to R20 billion within a three-year period.
“Under his leadership, Telkom Mobile has become the third-largest mobile business in South Africa,” Telkom said.
Commenting on his appointment, Taukobong said having worked under Maseko’s leadership for years, he would be taking over a solid business with a capable and committed team.
“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 market place and delivering value for shareholders,” said Taukobong.
Analysts said Taukobong would take the group to new heights and deliver on the strategy devised under Maseko’s leadership.
The head of equities at Cape Town-based Mergence Investment Managers, Peter Takaendaesa, said the market expected that Taukobong would be the obvious choice if the board decided to appoint internally.
“We believe the appointment probably helps the group to continue on the current strategy of value unlock in towers/datacentre/fibre infrastructure, further revenue diversification away from legacy fixed-line services and cost optimisation to reflect the transformation of the group,” said Takaendesa.
Takaendesa said Taukobong had shown his mettle as an executive after running Telkom’s consumer business, where its mobile and fibre consumer offerings are housed, adding that these segments should be the major drivers of future growth for the group.
“Difficult to perfectly fill the ’big shoes of Sipho’, but the strategy is quite clear and a large part of the value unlock is within Telkom’s control. His key deliverable is therefore execution on that strategy,” said Takaendesa.
Maseko was scheduled to exit the group at the end of June next year after eight years as chief executive.
Maseko, a trained lawyer, led the company’s revival and was instrumental in defining a clear strategy for each of its business units.
BUSINESS REPORT ONLINE