MTN Executive Chairman Nhleko to Stay on After Initial Contract

MTN Group Ltd. Executive Chairman Phuthuma Nhleko is continuing in his role as leader of the wireless company past the May 9 expiration of his initial contract, as he’s still working on the dual tasks of recruiting a new chief executive officer and resolving a record fine in Nigeria.

“The board gave Nhleko a mandate and he will continue as executive chairman until this mandate has been fulfilled,” MTN spokesman Chris Maroleng said by phone on Wednesday.

Nhleko, who was previously head of the Johannesburg-based company until 2011, returned to the executive role in November following the resignation of CEO Sifiso Dabengwa. He agreed to a six-month contract to address the company’s $5.2 billion fine in Nigeria, later reduced to $3.9 billion, for missing a deadline to disconnect customers deemed by the government to be unregistered in the country amid a crackdown on security.

Nhleko was paid 5 million rand ($331,000) for work from Nov. 9 until the end of 2015, according to MTN’s annual report, indicating a total payout of 17.5 million rand for six month’s work, not including any bonuses.

MTN shares declined 0.4 percent to 133.32 rand as of 2:05 p.m. in Johannesburg, valuing the company at 246 billion rand. The stock has weakened 30 percent since the Nigeria fine was made public in October.

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