MTN Group Appoints New Chief Commercial Officer

Pieter Verkade
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VENTURES AFRICA – Pieter Verkade has been appointed Chief Commercial Officer of the MTN Group, the South Africa-based telecoms group reveals, and will take up the position in February.

The appointment of Verkade –who is currently Chief Executive Officer of MTN Cyprus – sees the telecoms group focus on making the most of in-house talent, as the company embarks on a series of strategy renewals intended to combat the increasingly broad competition faced by operators.

“The fact that we are able to fill this strategic position with one of our own speaks volumes of the richness of MTN’s leadership pipeline, and the strides we are making to create an environment that recognises performance excellence,” said Sifiso Dabengwa, CEO and President of the MTN Group, praising the abilities of the MTN team.

Dabengwa went on to explain the importance of strategy for telecoms groups in the coming period, as companies vie to overcome competition and steal the market, saying: “… our operating environment is changing quite rapidly. We have entered a phase where network operators have to compete on more than just products and services.”

On Verkade’s intended role, Dabengwa said: “We believe that Pieter possesses the right combination of experience and expertise to drive MTN’s strategic agenda to deliver relevant and competitive value propositions to our customers across segments.”

Verkade will take up his new position as of February 2013, following the departure of current Chief Commercial Officer Christian de Faria, who will retire in January having spent six years with the MTN Group.

MTN attributes in part its success in the West and Central Africa region to de Faria’s contributions, including his steering of transformative initiatives; while also noting his role in commercial innovation activities.

“On behalf of the MTN Group and all our employees, I would like to thank Christian for his sterling contribution to MTN’s growth. His energy, enthusiasm and passion for the MTN people, our customers and communities will be missed by all,” concluded Dabengwa.

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