MTN Said to Create Regulatory Head Position After Record Nigerian Fine

MTN Group Ltd. appointed Felleng Sekha to the newly created position of head of regulatory affairs, part of a management shakeup at the wireless carrier following a record $1 billion fine in Nigeria, according to three people familiar with the matter.

Sekha previously worked for MTN’s Nigeria unit for almost nine years ending in 2007, according to her LinkedIn page. The account states her present position as managing partner at government relations specialists IQS Strategic Public Affairs.

Sekha declined to comment when contacted by phone on Monday.

The creation of a new executive position is part of MTN Chairman Phuthuma Nhleko’s plan to shore up management and governance structures as the Johannesburg-based company makes sure there’s no repeat of the record fine levied in Nigeria, said one of the people, who asked not to be identified as Sekha’s appointment hasn’t been made public. Other recent hires at the continent’s biggest wireless carrier by sales include Vodafone Group Plc’s Rob Shuter as incoming chief executive officer. Stephen van Coller has joined from Barclays Africa Group Ltd. as head of strategy and mergers and acquisitions.

“MTN is charting a new path after the confrontation with Nigerian authorities, but it will still be some years till we can gauge the full impact of these new appointments,’’ Sasha Naryshkine, an analyst at Johannesburg-based money manager Vestact Ltd., said by phone.

Chief Financial Officer Brett Goschen left MTN at the end of last month after 14 years at the company to pursue other interests. Gunter Engling, head of MTN’s Rwanda unit, is acting as CFO until a replacement is named. Nhleko, 56, will revert to his previous role as non-executive chairman once Shuter arrives before July, 2017.

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