Telkom Names O’Sullivan of Sasol as Communications Executive

Telkom SA SOC Ltd., Africa’s largest fixed-line operator, appointed Jacqui O’Sullivan as managing executive of communications and public relations from oil producer Sasol Ltd.

O’Sullivan starts Sept. 15 after leaving Sasol, where she was vice president of corporate branding and communication, Pretoria-based Telkom said in an e-mailed statement. O’Sullivan earlier resigned from the world’s largest producer of gasoline from coal, Bloomberg News reported Aug. 6. She replaces Praveen Naidoo, who has left Telkom to pursue other interests, according to spokeswoman Leigh-Ann Francis.

Telkom is battling to reduce costs to offset a decline in landline usage, increased operating expenses and a performance below that of its competitors. The company plans to eliminate positions from its 19,000 workforce and is working with labor unions on the job cuts.

Chief Executive Officer Sipho Maseko has been the subject of a police investigation into cloning car-number plates and avoiding traffic fines. He became the first South African CEO to be ordered to attend a director-duties course earlier this year after the award of a loan to then Chief Financial Officer Jacques Schindehutte was found to have breached the country’s Companies Act.

Telkom shares increased 3.7 percent to 58.55 rand as of 3:16 p.m. in Johannesburg, extending the gain for 2014 to 109 percent. The stock is the year’s best performer on the FTSE/Africa All Share index.

O’Sullivan “will be instrumental in guiding how we communicate with key stakeholders and customers,” Telkom Chief Marketing Officer Enzo Scarcella said in the statement.

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