MTN SA chief technology officer Giovanni Chiarelli resigns


MTN South Africa has bid farewell to chief technology and information officer Giovanni Chiarelli.

Godfrey Motsa, the CEO of MTN SA, announced the news to staff in an email on Tuesday.

MyBroadband understands that Chiarelli’s resignation was not sudden.

“Giovanni joined MTN South Africa five years ago in November 2016, and he immediately set about building a network and information technology team that would become the envy of the industry,” Motsa said.

“It is extraordinary what Giovanni and his people have achieved in just five years,” he continued.

“Some of you may have forgotten, but five years ago, MTN’s network and IT systems were average against our competitors. Giovanni revolutionised all that.”

Motsa said that with a year, Giovanni had boosted support within the network and information technology teams, brought in new leadership, motivated for additional and sustainable capital investment, and had set MTN SA on a new path to success.

The fruits of Chiarelli’s labours were reflected in network performance rankings, including MyBroadband’s quarterly mobile network quality report.

MyBroadband Insights released its Q3 2021 Mobile Network Quality Report in October, showing that MTN has the best mobile network in South Africa.

MTN had the highest average download speed at 68.79Mbps, followed by Vodacom at 39.37Mbps, Telkom on 29.24Mbps, Cell C on 19.88Mbps and Rain on 10.86Mbps.

MTN outspent its rivals on infrastructure investment over the past five years.

MTN’s R50 billion network investment helped it extend coverage, improve network quality, and increase speeds.

MyBroadband Insights 2021-Q3 Mobile Network Quality Report

However, Motsa said that money alone could not fix IT systems and networks.

“It requires a team of dedicated people, working through the length and breadth of the organisation, developing the strategies, the operational, management and maintenance plans, always with a clear vision for the future,” said Motsa.

“As an executive team, we will miss Giovanni’s insights and expertise, along with his always kind manner, unimpeachable work ethic and wry sense of humour.”

Motsa said the Chiarelli household had made huge sacrifices for MTN.

“Not in the least when Giovanni was separated from his family for 12 months, through the worst the South African and Italian lockdowns. My heartfelt thanks go to Diana and the boys for their support.”

Motsa said MTN would announce Chiarelli’s successor in the coming weeks.

His final day will be 31 December 2021.

“For now let us just say ‘in bocca al lupo’ Giovanni! Godspeed with your new adventures, knowing your SA family is behind you all the way.”

Now read: South African mobile networks ranked — with a clear winner and loser


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