MTN's head office in Johannesburg. Picture: EPA/KIM LUDBROOK
MTN's head office in Johannesburg. Picture: EPA/KIM LUDBROOK

MTN SA’s troubled call centre division has claimed the scalp of chief customer experience officer Eddie Moyce, whose departure was on Monday couched as a sabbatical without the prospect of returning to the country’s second-biggest network operator.

Last year, MTN grappled with a two-month strike at its call centre division, during which employees demanded ex-gratia payments.

The industrial action affected customer services, and saw then-MTN CEO Ahmed Farroukh resign after barely a year in the position, and Mteto Nyati brought in to calm the waters.

Mr Moyce will be replaced by Barclays Africa’s Ideshini Naidoo, who will join MTN in two months’ time. His departure follows that of another long-standing executive, Zunaid Bulbulia, one of the founding members of MTN, who left quietly in December.

Mr Nyati, a former Microsoft SA MD, said on Monday Mr Moyce had been replaced, saying the outgoing chief customer experience officer was taking a sabbatical and would not return to the company.

However, Mr Nyati denied that Mr Moyce had been fired as part of a clean-up of the company’s customer service division.

He said: "How can we fire somebody who’s got such a huge depth of knowledge and experience?

"When I joined here, he was one of the people who were my pillars to get this business back to where it is now. He’s not fired."

Communication Workers Union general secretary Aubrey Tshabalala said: "It’s been our call that Eddie must go, and some of those remaining must follow. They made workers’ lives a misery.

"It’s good timing for him to leave now that we are starting salary negotiations."

But the CEO said Mr Moyce had indicated his desire to leave in December and had been assisting Mr Nyati to fill the position.

Dobek Pater, a director at Africa Analysis, said Mr Moyce’s position was "an important function, given the fact that operators in SA have lately not been praised for good service".

However, Mr Pater pointed out that Ms Naidoo would transfer her banking industry skills easily to MTN, as the financial sector was underpinned by service.