Telkom CEO resignation a 'calamity': Solidarity
Telkom acting CEO Jeffrey Hedberg's decision to not renew his contract at the end of March was a "calamity", trade union Solidarity said on Tuesday.
"... the decision by Mr Jeffrey Hedberg, an expert in the field of turnaround strategies, not to renew his contract as Telkom's chief executive officer in March of this year [is] a calamity for Telkom," union spokesman Marius Croucamp said in a statement.
Last week, Telkom announced Hedberg would not stay on after March.
Telkom could not afford to make more "political appointments", the union said.
"Telkom's dramatic decline of the past five years is undoubtedly attributable to the fact that three of the four Telkom chief executives during the period have been political appointments," said Croucamp.
"It is also widely speculated that government, Telkom's majority shareholder, would prefer a black CEO.
"During his short tenure as CEO, Hedberg clearly stated his belief that a turnaround strategy for Telkom should be based on meaningful business considerations and not on politicking.
"That included, among others, the recruitment and retention of skills within Telkom, which could have lead to appointments at variance with Telkom's transformation policy," Croucamp said.
He said Telkom chairman Jeff Molobela would probably not remain in office for too long.
"Hedberg's resignation is a disaster. Telkom now needs the stability and leadership to successfully follow out a turnaround strategy," Croucamp said.
Hedberg was appointed Telkom's acting group CEO in July last year. He took over from Reuben September, who in terms of his contract was supposed to leave in November 2010, but left abruptly at the beginning of July 2010.
Hedberg was initially employed as CEO of Telkom's Nigerian subsidiary Multi-Links.
Boston-born Hedberg said within two weeks of his appointment as acting CEO that he saw "a great company" in Telkom.
Hedberg was credited with turning around mobile phone company Cell C during his tenure as CEO there from 2006 to 2009.