South Africa’s best telecoms CEOs for shareholder returns

An analysis by Daily Investor revealed that Sizwe Nxasana, Ralph Mupita, and Phuthuma Nhleko are the telecommunications CEOs who provided the best shareholder returns.

For this analysis, Daily Investor looked at the shareholder returns – share price growth and dividends – under prominent telecommunications CEOs over the last twenty years.

We discovered that shareholder returns were closely linked to the CEO’s performance and not only which company they worked for or when they were in charge.

While a CEO plays a crucial role in executing decisions at the board level, the company’s strategic direction also plays a big part in the share price.

A good example is former Telkom CEO Nombulelo Moholi, who oversaw the sale of Multi-Links after Telkom’s disastrous decision to enter the Nigerian market.

She was also given the mandate to facilitate Korea-based KT Corporation’s bid to buy 20% of Telkom for R3.3 billion, only to be stopped because of political reasons.

Unsurprisingly, the share price plummeted, resulting in Moholi’s shareholder return being the worst of all Telkom CEOs.

Another thing which can impact the shareholder returns under a CEO is market conditions.

For example, Ralph Mupita took over as MTN CEO soon after the 2020 Covid-19 stock market crash.

MTN’s share price got hammered during the collapse, and the low oil price aggravated the situation because of its importance in Nigeria.

As the global economy started to recover, markets reacted positively, and the oil price increased. It helped MTN’s share price to rally to over R200 per share from a low of R30 per share.

Mupita had no control over these factors but benefitted from the economic recovery and stock market rally in 2020 and 2021.

Top South African telecoms CEOs for shareholder returns

The table below shows the shareholder returns for CEOs from JSE-listed telecommunications companies.

Shareholder Return
Company CEO Annualized Shareholder Return 
Vodacom Pieter Uys 22%
Vodacom Shameel Joosub 7%
MTN Ralph Mupita 56%
MTN Phuthuma Nhleko 34%
MTN Sifiso Dabengwa 9%
MTN Rob Shuter -3%
Telkom Sizwe Nxasana 85%
Telkom Papi Molotsane 20%
Telkom Sipho Maseko 19%
Telkom Reuben September -11%
Telkom Serame Taukobong -30%
Telkom Nombulelo Moholi -37%
Blue Label Telecoms
Blue Label Mark Levy 0%
Blue Label Brett Levy 0%
Huge Group
Huge Group James Herbst 3%
Huge Group Anton Potgieter -3%
Telemasters Jaco Voigt 22%
Telemasters Mario Pretorius -7%