“Vodacom MD exit a surprise, but not a shock” – Arthur Goldstuck

June 15, 2012 • Mobile and Telecoms, Top Stories

Vodacom SA has announced that the company’s MD and Group Chief Operating Officer, Sipho Maseko, will relinquish all directorships of the group’s companies with immediate effect.

Vodacom MD and Group Chief Operating Officer Sipho Maseko (image:Business Day)

The former CEO of BP Southern Africa was appointed to the post of MD of Vodacom SA in September 2011 and there is no clarity as to why he is leaving, other than what has been stated in news reports, which is “to pursue other interests”

Media reports have also put forward speculation over possible conflict between the dual roles that Maseko held, that being MD and Group Chief Operating Officer.

A Business Day report quotes the Group’s Chief Officer for corporate affairs, Maya Makanjee, as saying that “the roles were clear and there had been no clashes or disagreements.”

Vodacom Group Chairman, Peter Moyo, said: “Sipho has made a positive contribution to Vodacom during his time with the Group, providing valuable external perspective to our strategy discussions. On behalf of the entire Group, I wish Sipho the best of luck for the future”.

Maseko said: “I wish to thank the Board, shareholders and all my colleagues at Vodacom for a wonderful opportunity in the last few months. My stay here has been stimulating and I’ve learned a lot. I wish the company all the best for the future”.

Industry analyst and director of World Wide Worx, Arthur Goldstuck, says the move may have come as a surprise, but was not a shock. He said that it was a structural issue and it had to be considered that the SA operations accounted for 90% of the Group’s revenue. He said Maseko “never really became the face of the company” and his personal brand was centred more on his tenure at BP.

“The telecomms space is different to where he has come from and he would have expected to lead from the front,” said Goldstuck.

The development will not change much in terms of Vodacom’s position in the market and it will be “business as usual” for the Group he added.

Chris Tredger



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