Telkom is in need of a finance chief after Tsholofelo Molefe left the partially state-owned operator for competitor MTN. 

The question now is how Telkom is going to go about filling this role. 

When Molefe was appointed CFO at Telkom in June 2018, she had been the group’s deputy finance chief for two years. A succession plan seems to have been in place at the time. 

Molefe’s responsibilities have now been taken over by an acting CFO, pointing to no obvious replacement this time around. 

A look at recent executive movements in the industry indicates that Telkom may look to poach someone from one of its telecoms competitors or look for talent in finance or banking companies.   

Mobile operators looking to grow and capitalise on new revenue streams in the world of financial services seem to be filling their ranks with finance executives.

Recently, SA’s largest mobile operator, Vodacom,  appointed Raisibe Morathi as its CFO, taking her from Nedbank, where she had been group CFO since 2009.

A former Old Mutual CEO, Ralph Mupita, now MTN’s CEO, is a financial services veteran together with outgoing boss Rob Shuter, himself a former banking executive. 

Taking someone from financial services wouldn’t be unusual for Telkom. Lunga Siyo, CEO of Telkom Business, joined the telecoms operator from Standard Bank two years ago. 

Of course, Telkom could look to another entity associated with the state — Molefe did come from Eskom after all — or to a technology player, like MTN recently did, taking former T-Systems SA CEO Dineo Molefe as CFO of its SA business. 

The possibilities are plenty but the ongoing convergence of telecoms and financial services points to those as the most viable pools of talent for the role. 


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