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SA’s third-largest mobile phone operator Telkom has appointed former Samung Africa CEO Sung Hyuck Yoon to its board as a non-executive director.

Sung has over 16 years of executive experience and a proven track record of turning around difficult business situations, as well as growing companies, Telkom said in a statement.

“He is an expert in tailoring global strategies to suit the needs of each market, and possesses hands-on technical knowledge across numerous product categories,” the mobile operator said.

Sung is now an adviser to Samsung Electronics in Korea, and has worked with that firm in a range of capacities, including head of mobile sales and head of IBM sales in the US.

Telkom has underperformed its JSE listed peers so far in 2022, and in March announced it was delaying the listing of its masts and towers business, Swiftnet, due to the uncertainty generated by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

The partially state-owned telecom operator has been working on a plan to release billions of rand trapped in its sprawling structure, which includes properties, masts and towers, IT company Business Connexion and internet fibre operator Openserve.

Telkom has flagged a struggle to grow as a result of its pressure from its IT business and legacy fixed-line services, saying in February that revenue fell 2.3% in the three months to end-December, its third quarter.

Telkom’s shares have fallen almost 18% so far in 2022, valuing it at R22.68bn on the JSE. Over the same period of time, MTN has given back just over 3%, while Vodacom has risen almost 10%.

Since the beginning of 2020, Telkom’s shares have risen more than 27% and Vodacom 28%, while MTN has doubled. /With Mudiwa Gavaza



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