The telcos: A hard nut to crack for local CEOs

12Jan 2021
The Guardian Reporter
Dar es Salaam
The Guardian
The telcos: A hard nut to crack for local CEOs

IN September 2018, the then Vodacom Tanzania Plc Board Chairman, the late Ali Mufuruki expressed his disappointment with Labour Commissioner’s decision to deny, Kenyan national, Sylvia Mulinge a work permit to take over as CEO.

Minister of State in the Prime Minister's Office (policy, parliamentary affairs, labour, employment, youth and the disabled), Jenista Mhagama.

Mufuruki said in his statement, “Naturally, we are disappointed, and we regret the Labour Commissioner’s decision. We will be engaging with the authorities. We are confident that Vodacom Tanzania has a strong management team in place to lead the company effectively until the search for a suitable candidate is finalised.”

Mulinge was supposed to have taken over from Ian Ferrao, who decided not to renew his contract. Mufuruki lamented that company owners or boards should not be restricted by regulators when appointing CEOs or managing directors of their firms.

Many commentators including people in the government said the move was good because Vodacom which is the only listed telecommunications company (telco) in the market, needed a local CEO because for many years, the telco has been managed by foreign CEOs.

 As the late Mufuruki argued, company owners through their boards should be given the freedom to choose who their CEO should be, based purely on merit and not nationality or ethnicity. Thereafter, Vodacom which is the market’s largest telco, announced Hisham Hendi as new Managing Director.

 Ever since John Pombe Magufuli took over the presidency in November 2015, there has been significant change in boardrooms across many companies in the country with banking leading the more on 

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