MTN Names Gold Fields’ Michael Fleischer Chief Legal Counsel

MTN Group Ltd., Africa’s biggest wireless operator, named Gold Fields Ltd.’s Michael Fleischer as its chief legal counsel.

He will start work on Feb. 1, spokesman Nik Kershaw said today by phone. Fleischer, who joined Gold Fields in 2006 and is general counsel at the South African mining company, will step down tomorrow, according to a Jan. 20 statement, which didn’t give a reason for his resignation.

“Fleischer will be responsible for leading the group legal and regulatory team, and providing strategic legal counsel to the company,” MTN Chief Executive Officer Sifiso Dabengwa said in an e-mailed statement today.

Gold Fields is being investigated by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission regarding the sale of a stake in its South Deep mine in 2010 under a South African program to expand black ownership. CEO Nick Holland waived his 2013 bonus because of concerns over the deal, and the board pledged to improve transparency and communication. Fleischer hasn’t been accused of any wrongdoing.

MTN, based in Johannesburg, is also facing legal issues. Turkcell Iletisim Hizmetleri AS, Turkey’s biggest mobile-phone operator, said in November it’s suing MTN for a second time over the award of an Iranian mobile-phone license.

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