Telkom had appointed Miriam Altman as the group head of strategy, company chief executive Sipho Maseko said yesterday, causing the stock to gain the most in more than nine months of trading on the local bourse. Shares in the telecoms group surged 3.33 percent to R13.34 at the close on the JSE after rising as much as 6.4 percent during intraday trading. Altman will support the development and execution of Telkom’s strategy and will report directly to Maseko. Her appointment is effective from June 1. She was a commissioner at the National Planning Commission and would continue to serve on that body, Telkom said. Altman was previously the executive director of the Human Sciences Research Council between 2002 and 2010, where she played a leading role in transformation and established its work on employment. She holds a BA in economics, a Master of Philosophy in economics from the University of Cambridge and a PhD in economics from the University of Manchester. – Asha Speckman