Is Vodacom’s Yolanda Cuba On The Move Again?

DFA will be a rational place for Cuba to join if she has been snubbed by Vodacom and Vodafone.

Yolanda Cuba
Yolanda Cuba

Yolanda Cuba, Chief Officer of Strategy and M&A of Vodacom Group, seems to be on the move again.

The former chief executive officer at Vodafone Ghana might have let the cat out of the bag through her post on the Facebook page, stating:

“Where God guides, He provides”.

The experienced executive, who was once tipped to take over from Shameel Joosub at Vodacom as CEO by TechFinancials, further states on her Facebook page:

“So these new dreams and aspirations He has planted in my head, He says He will provide for… Here goes nothing…#nextchapter.”

Clearly, Cuba has already left the offices of Vodacom in Midrand to pursue greener pastures. She’s looking forward to the next chapter of her life.

After a successful three-year tenure in Ghana as CEO for Vodafone, Cuba returned to the country. Her return was kept under wraps by Vodacom and its parent company Vodafone. There was no announcement made by the company except Vodafone Ghana, which announced her replacement, Patricia Obo-Nai, a Ghanaian.

The failure by Vodacom to provide clarity on her future role in the company after successfully leading Vodafone Ghana might have spurred her to leave the group. In recent years, Vodacom has lost several potential successors to Joosub, such as Sipho Maseko, Peter Moyo, Peter Matlare and Nku Nyembezi.

Taking Cuba’s calibre and experience gained at Vodacom, Vodafone Ghana, SABMiller and as a CEO of defunct JSE-listed behemoth Mvelaphanda Group, etc., there will be no shortage of suitors for this rising star.

She’s a real gem.

Vodacom “snatched” her from global brewer SABMiller in 2014.

She was only 29 when businessman Tokyo Sexwale appointed her as the CEO of his Mvelaphanda Group, a JSE-listed behemoth.

Taking into consideration her expertise, Cuba might be seeking a new role or might have secured one already at a fast-growing or disruptive telco in the country. You need to pay attention to her post on Facebook to understand that she has left Vodacom.

I bet you, she’ll surface at one of the networks in no time.

Will she be snapped by MTN, Africa’s biggest mobile phone operator? I don’t think so the company has hired several executives in the past few months and now is focusing on defending and growing its markets share.

Troubled mobile phone operator Cell C is looking for a CEO after the departure of Jose Dos Santos. Cuba has been out of a country for three years and a company such as Cell C with immense challenges will not be a great fit for her.

Telkom already has new blood at the helm of all its operations, such as Telkom Mobile, OpenServe, BCX and Gyro.

But a rational company for her will be an entity like Dark Fibre Africa (DFA), which has grown by leaps and bounds making it innovative and bigger enough to replace Telkom.

DFA will be a rational place for Cuba to join if she has been snubbed by Vodacom and Vodafone.

DFA, which is 54% owned by Remgro, is chaired by former Vodacom CEO Pieter Uys and is an open-access fibre telecommunications specialist. There is a need for transformation at this fast-growing company that is disrupting the broadband market.

Time will tell, where is Cuba moving to next.

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