Vodacom blocks Motsa's move to rival MTN

MTN's plan to appoint Godfrey Motsa as its new VP for south and east Africa (excluding South Africa) on Jul. 1 could be scuppered by the executive's former employer Vodacom.

Byron Kennedy, executive head of media relations at Vodacom, told IT Web that the operator plans to hold Motsa to a severance agreement that prohibits him from working for a rival operator for six months.

Although Motsa resigned from his position as chief officer for consumer business at Vodacom at the end of December 2015, he has been serving out a six month notice period that runs to Jun. 30, IT Web reported. Vodacom argues that the contractual agreement preventing him from taking up a role with a competing company will then come into effect from Jul. 1.

Kennedy told the news outlet that Vodacom will enforce the contractual obligation, which runs through to Dec. 31 of this year and effectively bars Motsa from taking up his new role until Jan. 1, 2017.

The Vodacom executive noted that a court ruling in February upheld the legality of the non-competing contract clause.

Motsa was one of several appointments announced by MTN earlier this week, the most notable of which was the hiring of former Vodafone executive Rob Shuter as its new group president and CEO.

The South Africa-headquartered operator also announced that it will reveal the name of a new VP of M&A and strategy by the end of June, who is scheduled to take up the post on Oct. 1, 2016. The company said the appointee would have a "wealth of banking experience" that will "assist in the formulation of a revised strategy for MTN, particularly in the area of convergence between mobile telephony and financial services."

Interim CEO Phuthuma Nhleko is due to resume his position as non-executive chairman of MTN once Shuter takes the helm. Nhleko has headed up the company since November 2015 after former CEO Sifiso Dabengwa resigned.

For more:
- see this IT Web report
- read MTN's appointment statement (PDF)

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