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Telkom gets new head of strategy

May 10 2013 19:20 I-Net Bridge

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Johannesburg - In a bid to strengthen its executive team‚ fixed-line telecommunications operator Telkom [JSE:TKG] is to appoint Miriam Altman as its new head of strategy.

Altman is the executive director of the Centre for Poverty‚ Employment and Growth at the Human Sciences Research Council and a member of President Jacob Zuma’s National Planning Commission.

The operator recently appointed Sipho Maseko‚ a former MD of rival telecoms group Vodacom‚ as its new CEO to replace Nombulelo Moholi at the end of March.

Maseko left Vodacom [JSE:VOD] last June‚ less than a year after taking on the role of MD. He also served as the group’s chief operating officer.

Telkom’s share price hit new lows early this year amid uncertainty about the government’s plans for the company and the appointment of substantive leadership.

Since the start of the year‚ its share price has dropped more than 17%. The decline has reduced is market capitalisation to roughly R7.2bn‚ which is 23 times smaller than Vodacom’s market capitalisation of about R165bn.

The country’s biggest fixed-line operator now hopes the appointment of Altman will help reverse its demise.

The company is battling the continuing decline of its fixed-line business‚ rising costs and the challenge of operating in a highly competitive environment.

Last year‚ it reported a decline in earnings and warned that it had to cut costs as it was unlikely to continue operating under the existing conditions and environment‚ especially given that total expenses were almost the same as revenue.

“I can not confirm or deny anything‚” Altman said on Friday. “I will‚ however‚ still be on the National Planning Commission.”

With more than 20 years’ research and practical experience in economic development to her name‚ Altman is an expert in employment and industrial policy.

She holds a BA in economics from McGill University in Canada‚ an MPhil from the University of Cambridge and a PhD in economics from the University of Manchester.


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