In March this year, the business community was taken by surprise when Mteto Nyati resigned as CEO of MTN South Africa to take up the top post at Altron (Allied Electronics). He outlines his vision for the technology giant.
The announcement came as surprise for two reasons. Firstly, Nyati had only been at the helm at MTN for two-and-a-half years. He’d also been credited with kick-starting a turnaround in the mobile operator’s South African business. Secondly, his new appointment signalled the end of an era for Altron. Throughout the half-century since its founding by Bill Venter, it had been managed and run as a family business. Nyati was to take over the reins from Robert Venter, who’d worked at the organisation for 17 years and had occupied the corner office at its headquarters for 16 of them.
The task of choosing a successor for Venter was never going to be an easy one. At the time Nyati’s appointment was announced, Altron Chairman Mike Leeming said he’d been selected after a “rigorous recruitment process” and cited his in-depth experience in the blue-chip technology sector. “The Altron board embarked on a global search for a suitable candidate with the necessary global leadership experience and business orientation, as well as a solid track record in the ICT sector,” he said – a ringing endorsement of Nyati’s credentials.