Turmoil at TNM as CEO steps down: M’bwana acting boss

Malawi Stock Exchange (MSE)–listed TNM plc has been thrown into reputational crisis as  its chief executive officer (CEO) Michiel Buitelaar has   resigned at the mobile phone service provider under controversial circumstances as there are reports of financial malfeasances.

Buitelaar: Leaves TNM plc as CEO

Sources at the company said Buitelaar was forced to resign following complaints  of ‘mis-procurement’ by the company , in which he was accused of  influencing the procuring of briefcase operators at the expense of established entities.

In farewell to TNM employees through an email released on Thursday evening which Nyasa Times has seen, Buitelaar said he was leaving for personal reasons.

“I’m stepping down as CEO of TNM. I thoroughly enjoyed my position and working with you. But personal reasons have brought me to this position.

“Although times are not easy, I’m confident that management and board will navigate TNM through them. Showing Malawi that TNM is the tech company to be proud of. I’m proud to have been part of it,”reads Buitelaar’s email to members of staff.

However, the company’s board has said  Buitelaar  has  left  TNM by mutual consent and that Andrew Mbwana has not been appointed acting CEO.

In a corporate statement  to the company’s shareholders, through the Malawi Stock Exchange.

“The Board expresses its appreciation to Mr Buitelaar for his efforts and contribution during the time he served the Company and wishes him success.

“In the meantime, the Board has appointed Mr Arnold M’bwana, the current Chief Finance Officer, as Acting Chief Executive Officer until the position is substantively filled,” said TNM’s company secretary Christina Mwanza on behalf of the board.

Buitelaar took over as CEO in April 2019 when he took over from Eric Valentine who had served for over 18 months in an acting capacity.

He came from a European Artificial Intelligence software provider where he was the CEO.

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Mdala
Mdala
8 months ago

We really need a mindset change! There are too many crooks around, who think they can become rich over night! I do not talk about Mzungus or Mwenyes …

Wawo
Wawo
8 months ago

ANADKAT …….🤪

Chikafu
Chikafu
8 months ago

Itayeni Tnm! Network yofoira, unable to customise for its customers! As a network owned by Malawians, we expected better services than any other network, koma mmmm, iyi ya amwenyeyi, is leading panopa to be honest, aMalawi sititha business!

Mr Truth Pains
8 months ago
Reply to  Chikafu

I hate people who think foreigners are wise than Malawians , if u go to these countries of foreigners u will find Malawians are there heading their institutions.

So why trying hard to underrate yourself as Indians headed Airtel is the best? Be positive with yourself for u to demolish the barriers causing u not to progress in life.

Chokazinga
Chokazinga
8 months ago

The main lesson here is to learn to build trust and move forward with well qualified Malawians. Here is the thing: Kenya Safaricom is primarily successful because of Kenyan people. Do you wonder why foreign owned companies like Airtel opt for local CEOs? And why should a local service provider hire foreigners in senior management? This is something that a reasonable board should seriously consider. After all, you need to bring foreigners with good attitude towards the locals. Not otherwise. Without being a racist or anti-foreigners I can confidently advise that please be watchful when bringing expatriates from SA, Kenya… Read more »

Last edited 8 months ago by Chokazinga
Herb
Herb
8 months ago
Reply to  Chokazinga

Safaricom has just had a local CEO for less than a year. It’s been foreigners that have always been CEOs

Mpanduki
Mpanduki
8 months ago

Time for employing white people for jobs where well-qualified Malawians are very high supply are over. Give Peter Munthali the job there. He can perform way much better than these dubious whites that you are always bringing. I suspect the money looted is shared with the appointees. I don’t think a white man can come all the way from Europe to steal here without the consent of some executives here. Always selling ourselves to the cheapest bidder. What a joke.

Adam, the wise man
Adam, the wise man
8 months ago

Nyasa Time has done it again with this brilliant article. It is really sad that TNM does not seem to be able to get a stable management. It is hard to believe that Michel is that bad. It is hard to believe that the accusations of corruption can hold water. After all, this man is a solid professional who will not expose himself as we are alluding. I believe that his voice may have diluted. I believe that the buck stops at the desk of the board and more importantly, its chairman. I know the chairman very well. I actually… Read more »

Tippex is king
8 months ago

How much money has he stolen? In 18 months! I need to know to decide whether or not to follow him!

Abdul K
Abdul K
8 months ago

This is very very interesting. Do you see a pattern on this mess? I do. Please look toward the chairman of TNM who does not seem to have his eyes on the ball. TNM one of Press’s largest asset along with NBM. The chairman should have been more hand-on in managing TNM CEO. The real deal is that he can’t. Over the past 5 years, TNM has had 3 CEOs!!! TNM chairman is not at the right spot. He must retire as he is more busy building his hotels and other personal investments. Malawi cannot afford to have its top… Read more »

The Sage
The Sage
8 months ago

It’s now time to let a Malawian fill that post. We have many serious Malawians who can do a better job than the outgoing CEO… No offence

Lumbani
Lumbani
8 months ago
Reply to  The Sage

The same Malawians that are stealing?

Nhlaxhlo
Nhlaxhlo
8 months ago
Reply to  Lumbani

Eti?honest ones are far and apart

The Sage
The Sage
8 months ago
Reply to  Lumbani

It’s not every Malawian that steals. The mop is moving to every corner slowly, things will get fixed. It’s time to promote our own professionals

Abdul K
Abdul K
8 months ago
Reply to  The Sage

Please the issue is not about the nationality. TNM is one of our biggest company and Malawi cannot afford to see it failed. The nationality of the CEO should not be an issue. Going to 4th CEO in 5+years tells us that TNM and certainly its other sister companies have a systemic problem, haven’t they?

Josy T
Josy T
8 months ago
Reply to  The Sage

Yes, “We have many serious Malawians”. They must apply for the job, go through the interview process and be selected. Being Malawian is not a qualification, I am afraid. What matter is for TNM to have great CEO in order to fight off Airtel major improvements on the market place. TNM seems to be lacking behind. Its results have been less than stellar. Now the CEO left and this opens another transition that may last. TNM’s owners are just interested in milking the company. Its seems that this is also a standard operating procedure of Press Corp, the parent company.… Read more »

mfumu
mfumu
8 months ago

I am surprised that this Michiel Buitelaar fellow, lasted over a year at TNM. He appeared, from day one, to be a non-conformist, and likely endowed with negative attitudes towards black people. I doubt that he would have passed a psychometric test on his suitability for the TNM job.

A lesson to the Board of TNM. Where possible, administer psychometric tests on candidates for senior executive positions.

Abdul K
Abdul K
8 months ago
Reply to  mfumu

I agree with you. Michel did not seem to have a good grasp of telecom. The reality is that it is very very hard to hire a good telecom manager. TNM pay is just not competitive. This said, if the chairman was not too busy building his own business and spending half of his week outside of Blantyre, things would be different. It is important for Press board to look into the deep cause of the management instability at TNM. If this review is well done, it is clear to me that the culprit will not be Michel but the… Read more »

Nhlaxhlo
Nhlaxhlo
8 months ago
Reply to  mfumu

Agreed

Adam, the wise man
Adam, the wise man
8 months ago
Reply to  mfumu

Lets not be to personal unless one can come up with specific. I do not know Buitelaar well even though I’ve met him a few times. He is pretty knowledgeable and I am not sure where the “negative attitudes” is coming from. He had a job to do and that is that. If you really want to understand, one must dig deeper and look at the management system that is in place at all Press companies. My friend, the chairman of TNM must be more involved in what is happening at TNM and not act as a benevolent boss

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