Africa’s biggest telecom company, MTN Group is in the news for the wrong reasons yet again as it endures what is probably its toughest year in the 21st century. According to Bloomberg, Herman Singh, MTN’s Chief Innovation Officer is set to resign from the company. This makes him the latest high ranking executive to quit the company this year.
MTN executive exits said to intensify amid Nigeria crisis https://t.co/IHpNm0ls9v
— Bloomberg Africa (@BBGAfrica) November 27, 2018
Mr Singh, hired in 2016, is leaving to launch his own tech startup, sources say. However, MTN is yet to confirm the report.
Mr Singh’s departure means he will be the third executive from the company to resign this year alone. Stephen Van Coller, MTN’s former head of digital services resigned in August 2018. He had only been on the job for less than two years.
Babak Fouladi, MTN’s Chief Technology Officer (CTO) has already confirmed his resignation. He will take up the same role at Dutch telecom company KPN NV next week.
While the reason for these exits is not clear, the exodus don’t speak well about the health of the company. It’s share price fell 2% following the news on Tuesday as investors are worried that this could be a whole new crisis the giant is facing.
MTN – more than 5% of shareholding has changed hands in last few days – offshore seller and local buyer – size makes PIC possible buyer – would be too aggressive for an asset manager? Or China Mobile coming in! Either case big view being taken…
— Icepick (@Jse_Icepick) November 28, 2018
MTN is currently struggling to negotiate its way out of a hefty $10 billion fine imposed on its Nigerian subsidiary. Its share price all but crashed following the news of the fines, and it has not recovered fully.
Also, at the start of the year, the company had plans to list on the Nigerian stock exchange but has had to postpone that plan due to the recent fines. Now, it doesn’t look likely that the company will list on the Bourse till the second half of 2019.
The South African Government has also advised the company to pull out of Nigeria if the country continues to threaten its stability.
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