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Sitho Mdlalose returns to Vodacom SA as new MD

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Vodacom Group has announced a new managing director (MD) for its South Africa business, with Sitho Mdlalose returning from Tanzania to take up the role.

Vodacom said in a statement that Mdlalose, who has been the MD of Vodacom Tanzania since August 2021, will take over from current SA MD Balesh Sharma at the beginning of July 2022.

In April, the market learned that Sharma was stepping down from the role at the end of June to pursue an external career opportunity.

Vodacom South Africa MD, Balesh Sharma, is stepping down at the end of June 2022.  (Source: Vodacom)
Vodacom South Africa MD, Balesh Sharma, is stepping down at the end of June 2022.
(Source: Vodacom)

Mdlalose is a qualified chartered accountant and a Harvard Business School senior executive program graduate. He has more than 20 years of experience in finance, consulting and management; 13 of which have been in telecommunications across both emerging and developed markets.

"I am confident that Sitho is the ideal candidate to lead Vodacom South Africa in a challenging economic climate that will require proactive innovations to adjust to shifts in customer behaviour. His in-depth experience, financial and business acumen, strong interpersonal skills and proven track record make him an obvious choice for this important role," said Vodacom Group CEO Shameel Joosub in an emailed statement.

"I'd like to offer my personal congratulations to Sitho as we celebrate yet another internal promotion, showcasing the strong bench of executive talent at Vodacom," Joosub added.

Mdlalose worked at the Vodafone Group for over six years prior to joining Vodacom. He has held various leadership roles, including CFO for International Business. He was then interim Group CFO and finance director for Vodacom South Africa before being appointed to MD for Vodacom Tanzania in 2021.

In 2020, Vodacom Group announced the creation of a standalone South African operating company as part of a simplification of its structure following the expansion of its African portfolio – adding Vodafone Ghana and Vodafone Egypt to the fold – and accelerated growth ambitions on the continent, including financial and digital services.

Tanzanian tenure

Vodacom Tanzania also made its own statement about Mdlalose's departure, saying he successfully led the company through multiple strategic negotiations that have poised its operations for recovery and future growth.

"The board acknowledges the talent and experience that Sitho brought into the organization. True to his abilities, and in the short period that he served at the helm of the company, he formulated a robust strategy that we all believe will serve to consolidate our leadership position in the market for the mid to long term," said Vodacom Tanzania Board Chairman Thomas Mihayo.

Mdlalose's successor in Tanzania will be announced in due course, the operator said.

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*Top image is of new Vodacom South Africa MD Sitho Mdlalose. (Source: Vodacom)

— Paula Gilbert, Editor, Connecting Africa

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