Phuthuma Nhleko African Millionaire MTN Boss

Phuthuma Nhleko has come a long way from his first job, a little over two decades ago, as a civil engineer trainee for the Ohio Department of Transportation, in the US. Nhleko is the CEO of the MTN Group, which is an Africa-focused holding group involved primarily in the operation of GSM cellular telephone networks.

Phuthuma Nhleko is the CEO of the MTN Group. Nhleko is also chairman and one of the founding members of Worldwide African Investment Holdings, an investment holding company with interests in the petroleum, telecommunications and IT industries. Nhleko is also a director of Johnnic Holdings, Nedbank Group and Old Mutual SA.
The group, which employs 6 000 people, reported turnover of R29bn for the year ended March 2005.
Nhleko is also chairman and one of the founding members of Worldwide African Investment Holdings, an investment holding company with interests in the petroleum, telecommunications and IT industries. He helped build the company to a book value of investments of about R3.5bn.

He was previously a senior member of the Standard Corporate & Merchant Bank corporate finance team. He also practised as a civil engineer and project manager for the Urban Foundation, and was a senior road engineer for the ministry of works in Swaziland.

Nhleko is a director of Johnnic Holdings, Nedbank Group and Old Mutual SA.

The people he has noted as having had the most influence on his career in the past 15 years are Standard Bank CEO Jacko Maree and Old Mutual SA MD Roddy Sparks.

Nhleko’s academic qualifications include a BSc in civil engineering from Ohio State University and an MBA in finance from Atlanta University. He was appointed to the new Board of Directors of the GSM Association (GSMA), the global trade association for mobile phone operators. The new board will serve a two-year term from January 2007.

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