MTN Uganda Appoints Sylvia Mulinge as CEO

The current head of consumer business at Safaricom, Sylvia Mulinge has been appointed by MTN Uganda as its new chief executive starting September 1.

Ms Mulinge’s leap to the CEO position comes after her appointment to lead Vodacom Tanzania in 2018 was thwarted by Tanzanian authorities who denied her a work permit.

Ms Mulinge joined Safaricom in 2006, rising through the ranks to chief customer officer in 2018. She took her current role in July 2021.

“Sylvia Mulinge becomes MTN Uganda CEO, joining from Safaricom, where she served as Chief Consumer Business Officer for the Group. A seasoned executive, she brings with her a passion for transforming customers’ lives using technology,” South Africa’s MTN Group said.

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“Mulinge replaces Wim Vanhelleputte, who will take on the new MTN Group role of Operations Executive: Markets.”

Ms Mulinge was among three CEOs that the multinational has appointed for its various markets effective the same date.

She is one of the longest-serving Safaricom executives who have steered the company that grew to become the largest in the region by sales, earnings, and market value.

Other high-profile executives who have left Safaricom recently include Joe Ogutu who retired after 17 years with the company.

“She was instrumental in setting up two key businesses in Safaricom; Enterprise and Fixed Data,” Safaricom CEO Peter Ndegwa said on Thursday.

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MTN Uganda was listed on the Uganda Securities Exchange last year through an initial public offering that saw its South African parent firm sell a 12.96 percent stake against the target of 20 percent.

The transaction was done to comply with local ownership rules.

MTN Uganda’s net income for the year ended December increased 5.8 percent to Sh10.8 billion, helped by a 9.7 percent boost in total revenue to Sh65.3 billion.


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