Phuthuma Nhleko is the renowned businessman was born on 7th April 1960 in Gauteng and attended St Marks High School, Swaziland for his ‘O’ Levels in 1977. He later graduated from Ohio State University with a bachelor’s degree in civil engineering in 1983, and a finance MBA from Atlantic University, 1987. Phuthuma was the executive chairman of MTN Group Ltd. since July 2001. He is also the founder at Pembani Remgro Infrastructure Managers (Pty) Ltd., chairman at AfriSam (South Africa) Pty Ltd., non-executive chairman at Pembani Group (Pty) Ltd., and chairman at MTN International (Pty) Ltd.
Phuthuma Nhleko is the ex-Group President and Chief Executive Officer of MTN Group, a pan-African and Middle Eastern mobile telephony company. Founded in 1994, MTN’s wide reach currently spans 21 countries in Africa and the Middle East. Under Nhleko’s leadership, MTN’s mobile subscriber base grew to over 185 million users and earned over US$15 billion in annual revenue. The company’s market capitalization also increased from US$6 billion in 1994 to over US$35billion. MTN is currently the sixth largest company on the JSE by market capitalization in excess of USD 40 billion and the largest company (by market capitalization) with a primary listing on the Johannesburg Stock Exchange (JSE).Nhleko was instrumental in leading the management leveraged buy-in to MTN in 2003. At US$700 million, the transaction was the largest management buy in of its kind in South Africa’s history. In addition, he also successfully concluded in 2006, the acquisition of Investcom Limited, a mobile telecommunications company listed in Dubai, for US$5.5 billion. Under his leadership, MTN and its subsidiary companies won numerous awards and distinctions including a spot in the top 10 companies in the prestigious American Business Week Survey that identifies companies that show vision, growth and are global companies of the future. Nhleko was the recipient of the prestigious South African Business Leader of Year Sunday Times award in 2009.He stepped down as CEO of MTN Group in March 2011 and is currently the Chairman of Pembani Group of companies, an investment holding company he co-founded in 1994, with interests in the petroleum, energy, cement and resources industries. Following his decision to step down as CEO of the MTN Group, Nhleko was appointed as a Non-executive Director on the boards of BP plc and Anglo plc, Afrisam (Chairman), Pembani Remgro Infrastructure Fund (Chairman) and was appointed as Non-executive Chairman of MTN Group Limited.