Mawindi tipped for top NetOne job

HARARE – Former Telecel Zimbabwe (Telecel) chief executive, Francis Mawindi, is tipped to be appointed chief operating officer (COO) of State-owned wireless network operator NetOne, market sources say.

While NetOne neither confirmed nor denied the reports, Mahwindi, currently in the U.S, said “this is news to me. I have neither accepted nor rejected any offer whatsoever from NetOne and so I am surprised by all this. Who told you?”

A NetOne official who preferred anonymity said “no official communication has been made, but from what we are getting Mawindi is one of the few people shortlisted for the job due to his experience and market expertise.”

This comes as NetOne – Zimbabwe’s second largest mobile operator – which early this year sought to recruit 24 key managers, including a COO, is gearing for expansion of services in Zimbabwe, in partnership with Chinese telecom network equipment provider, Huawei.

Although the company has a $218 million standing loan facility with China’s Eximbank, to be used to boost its broadband internet capacity and expand its network, its financial performance over the past few years has been dismal, hence the need for new blood.

Market sources say given his stellar performance at Telecel where he is credited for growing the company’s market share from 21 percent to 30 percent during his nine months stint at the helm, Mawindi can strengthen NetOne and enhance its presence in the telecommunications sector.

During his short spell at Telecel, Mawindi was behind the company’s phenomenal subscriber base increase to 2,56 million from under two million in six months – making the firm’s growth one of the fastest in the sector in a short space of time.

By the time he left Telecel in 2013 due to differences with shareholders, Mawindi presided over the company’s rise in profitability to close to 30 percent and increased its population under coverage from 70 percent at the time he joined to 85 percent.
A  University of Zimbabwe electrical engineer graduate, Mawindi also holds an MBA Degree with concentration in finance from Howard University in Washington DC, USA.
The ex-Telecel boss was the head of business operations for Global Services at France Telecom Orange based in New York City, USA where he led the effort in the development, co-ordination and management of the business and strategic planning process for the Americas region.

He was also the general manager for Bright Point, an outsourcing company operating within the supply chain of the telecommunications industry, where he led the implementation of a Greenfield telecom project.

Mawindi also worked for the then Posts and Telecommunications Corporation in Zimbabwe, now TelOne. He was part of the project leadership team that oversaw the implementation of the country’s wide billion dollar digitalisation project in the early 1990s.

He worked for Verizon, a global telecommunications giant, where he supported a regional business development drive, a $500 million per year Federal Intelligence communications business portfolio with a total addressable market of $44 billion with operations in North America, Latin America, Europe and Africa.

Mawindi also worked for Sprint, the third largest mobile operator in the United States where he was part of the team that developed and implemented a $4 billion project for the provision of mobile broadband telecommunications services.

He was hunted from United States of America by Odgers Berndston, a global executive search firm on behalf of Telecel in July 2012 and he ushered the company to success.

Comments (6)

As long as he has not falsified his job titles and responsibilities then we have no objection as a taxpayer.There is difference between being assigned to do things and having a say on what needs to be done,Mr editor.

Guranyanga - 31 July 2015

Guranyanga Do you have a problem with someone who is coming to turn-around a company that is not performing. I have worked with Mr Mawindi at Telecel and he is a brilliant and prolific leader. In addition, numbers do not lie and facts are stubborn. He did a great job at TZ and he has the record to prove it. NetOne should thank their stars for having his man on board. The telecoms landscape will dramatically change and these are exciting times. Good Luck to you Francis

Majerasi - 1 August 2015

Well for a company without a TOLL FREE service he might be handy.I was shocked that NetOne system can not do reverse billing for calls yes as of July 15 , 2015.

Robert Ndlovu - 3 August 2015

Good luck Mr Mawindi if you go to NetOne. But you should know that it is not business as usual there. All Zim parastatals are not meant to make money and your ingenious decisions will be rescinded by the minister all the time. You will get frustrated and your CV will be spoiled. If you were me I would not consider an offer unless it is only for my financial needs. Never think that the guys heading gvt companies do not think - they are also brilliant chaps who are now content getting their huge pay checks.

Cecil Roars - 5 August 2015

Mawindi not Mahwindi (para 2), electrical engineering not engineer graduate

sub-editor - 5 August 2015

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