Science & Tech

After settling dispute with Nigeria, MTN names Vodafone Europe head new CEO

MTN new CEO, Rob Shuter

MTN new CEO, Rob Shuter

South African mobile phone operator MTN Group named the head of Vodafone Europe, Rob Shuter, a South African national, as its new Chief Executive Officer (CEO) on Monday.

Shuter’s appointment is coming less than two weeks after it agreed to a $1.7 billion fine to settle a dispute in Nigeria.

Shuter, who has a background in accounting, replaces Sifiso Dabengwa, who resigned last November after Nigeria imposed the fine.

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The telecommunications firm is trying to overhaul its corporate governance standards while looking for new revenue streams as competition hits profit margins in its key markets.

The Nigerian fine, originally set at $5.2 billion, was imposed after MTN missed a deadline to cut off users with unregistered SIM cards.
MTN has also faced run-ins with authorities in other countries where it operates, including Uganda and Cameroon.

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“MTN has weathered a rather difficult storm and will continue to review its governance and management operating structure,’’ Executive Chairman Phuthuma Nhleko said in a statement, backing the appointment of Shuter.

Nhleko, who was appointed interim executive chairman following Dabengwa’s resignation with an eye to renegotiating the fine in Nigeria, will revert to his role as non-executive chairman.

Shuter will assume office in July 2017.

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Shuter, who was head of investment banking at Standard Bank and head of retail banking at Nedbank, has been CEO of Vodafone Netherlands since April 2012.

In October 2015, his role was expanded to include the other European countries, excluding the UK, Italy, Spain and Germany.

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