NAIROBI (Reuters) - Vodacom Tanzania VODA.TZ on Monday named Safaricom’s (SCOM.NR) head of consumer business as its new managing director to lead the company that listed in Dar es Salaam last year amid government efforts to expand local ownership of the industry.
Sylvia Mulinge, who has been at Safaricom since 2006, will take over on June 1, Vodacom Tanzania, a unit of South Africa’s Vodacom Group (VODJ.J), said in a statement.
She will replace Ian Ferrao who joined Vodacom Tanzania three years ago. Ferrao decided not to renew his contract with the company and will be leaving to “pursue other interests,” the company said.
Ferrao led the company through a $213 million initial public offering last August, Tanzania’s largest ever, which attracted more than 40,000 local investors, most of whom were first-time participants in the country’s stock market.
Foreigners, initially banned from participating, bought 40 per cent of the shares.
The move was part of a government directive for mobile companies to list a minimum 25 percent stake at the local Dar es Salaam Stock Exchange.
Vodacom is the only telecom company so far in Tanzania to list at the DSE, where it closed on Monday at 850 shillings ($0.3759).
Vodacom controls 32 percent market share of the country’s 40 million mobile subscribers. Other major players include Tigo Tanzania, a subsidiary of Sweden’s Millicom MICsdb.ST and a local unit of India’s Bharti Airtel (BRTI.NS).
Reporting by Omar Mohammed; editing by Elias Biryabarema and Jane Merriman