The Black Management Forum (BMF) of South Africa has expressed dissatisfaction over MTN appointment of a White man as CEO and President of MTN Group.
MTN on Monday announced the appointment of Rob Shuter as the company CEO and President. This follows the resignation of Sifiso Dabengwa after the multi-billion dollar telecoms fine in Nigeria.
BMF said the MTN appointment contributes to the steady decline in the number of black South Africans at the leadership helm in companies.
Speaking for the organization, its president, Mncane Mthunzi related that BMF’s position on the MTN appointment is informed by what he described as a clear reversal of black representation in Top JSE listed companies.
“There is a general unwillingness for transformation at top management level which has resulted in the decline in the number of black South African CEOs,” he said.
To BMF, MTN’s failure to appoint a black CEO shows that the transformation of South Africa’s inequality problem is not a business imperative. That, BMF said, is disappointing.
“MTN may put forward reasons it argues to be valid for the appointment of its new CEO, however, the company would undoubtedly agree that it has squandered a good opportunity to reaffirm its commitment to transformation. Prior to this appointment, MTN had demonstrated exemplary leadership by successively having black CEOs,” Mthunzi noted.
BMF said it will engage the Public Investment Corporation and other shareholders of reference on their expected role and moral obligation for the appointment of black CEOs and Executives in general.
“These companies are owned by the public and yet they don’t reflect the demographics of our society,” Mthunzi argued.
BMF stands for the development and empowerment of managerial leadership amongst black people in order to create the managerial structures and processes that reflect the demographics and values of the wider society.
According to them, they are a non-racial thought-leadership organisation. And, their aim is to influence socio-economic transformation in South Africa, and bring socio-economic justice, fairness and equity.