What the Telkom CEO told her staff

Telkom announced on 5 November that its Chief Executive Officer, Nombulelo (Pinky) Moholi plans to step down before the end of her contract period. Moholi has given the board six months’ notice in this regard.

This news came shortly after Telkom’s annual general meeting (AGM) where the Department of Communications (DoC) voted against the appointment of four non-executive directors. The DoC further voted against several Telkom resolutions at the AGM.

The recent board resignations and the DoC’s decision to vote against the appointment of four non-executive directors means that the company does not have enough board members left to form a quorum to elect a new leader for Telkom.

Throw in the fact that government decided to block the Telkom-KT Corp deal, which would have helped Telkom to reshape the company, and it is hardly surprising that Moholi has had enough.

Moholi says “I am not gone”

Telkom’s uncertain future and the growing talk of nationalizing the company have left many employees unsettled.

Moholi sent an e-mail to Telkom employees letting them know she is definitely not gone, and that she will continue to see to it that Telkom pursues its strategic objectives.

Nombulelo Moholi
Nombulelo Moholi

For the sake of accuracy, the full e-mail is published below.

Team Telkom will persevere (from the desk of Nombulelo Moholi, Telkom Group CEO)

Now that the news of my intention to step down before the end of my contract period is public knowledge, I want to take a moment to reflect on this situation. I need you to really grasp what I want to share with you, so please put time aside to give your full attention to this message.

The first thing I want to say is that I understand completely if you were unsettled by the events of the past three days. The announcement has generated much media comment. This was not unexpected. What is unfortunate, however, is that journalists chose to over-emphasise words like “leaderless” and “lack of stability.”

Let me put this into perspective: I have notified the Board of my intention to step down. I haven’t left Telkom. I am not gone. I am here – in my office, behind my desk. This means two things:

One, I am still the Group CEO and as such I will continue to see to it that Telkom pursues its strategic objectives.

Two, it gives me time to work with the Executive Leadership team to make doubly sure we are all on the same page in terms of what we want for Telkom, and how we are going to achieve this.

Leadership knows what must be done.

I call on you to take a similar approach. What is the value of choosing to focus on uncertainty? It is much more rewarding and, ultimately, profitable to focus on what is in Telkom’s and in your control.

The second thing I want to emphasise is that Telkom’s fundamental building block is the team, not the individual. It is incorporated in our CHART value system, comes to the fore in our partnership approach with customers and it is how we get things done throughout the Company.

My departure will not cause the machine that is Telkom to stop functioning. Again, Executive Leadership is of one mind and one will. Beyond this, teams across the country will continue with their work.

Your team needs you. It needs your loyalty; your commitment. It needs you to do your job in a way that says, “Telkom’s service outperforms that of its competitors!”

I know it can be quite difficult to ignore all that is going on around you. It’s only human to worry about the many things that are being said. But it really leads nowhere. A strong Telkom is built day-by-day; one positive action at a time. This can only happen if you make a conscious decision to concentrate on what Telkom requires you to do.

If you have any doubt about the power of such an approach just think of what we’ve accomplished during the past six months in terms of network transformation, convergence, new product launches and advancements in the mobile arena.

All this, thanks to you.

Best regards

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What the Telkom CEO told her staff