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Tullow Oil plc is pleased to announce the appointment of Phuthuma Nhleko as an independent non-executive Director and Chairman-designate of Tullow. Phuthuma will join the Board as a non-executive Director on 25 October 2021 and will take over as Chairman of Tullow from Dorothy Thompson, CBE, following a suitable handover period and after Dorothy steps down as Chair and retires from the Board by the year end.

Phuthuma is expected to bring extensive emerging markets experience to Tullow having worked successfully across Africa over the past three decades. Phuthuma was Chief Executive of MTN Group, the leading pan-African telecommunications company, from 2002 to 2011. During his time with MTN, the Group grew rapidly in Africa and the Middle East, gaining over 185 million subscribers to become one of the largest listed companies in Africa. In 2013, Phuthuma returned to MTN as a non-executive Director and Chairman until 2019. This included a period as Executive Chairman from 2015 to 2017. He remained part of the international advisory board for the business until August 2021.

After stepping down as Chief Executive of MTN in 2011, Phuthuma was a non-executive Director at BP plc (2011-16) and Anglo-American plc (2011-15). He also served previously on the Boards of Nedbank and Old Mutual in South Africa. 

Currently, Phuthuma is Chairman of Phembani Group, an investment group which he founded in 1994, and is Chairman-designate of the Johannesburg Stock Exchange Ltd. Phuthuma is also a non-executive Director of South African downstream energy company, Engen Petroleum, and a non-executive Director of IHS Towers, the NYSE-listed Emerging Markets Telecom Infrastructure Provider.

Phuthuma is a South African national and holds a BSc in Civil Engineering from Ohio State University and an MBA from Atlanta University.  

“Phuthuma brings to Tullow excellent and relevant experience, having successfully built a truly pan-African business. He is a widely acclaimed business leader with a deep understanding of Africa and a broad set of relationships across the continent. He also brings experience from listed companies across a number of international markets, including the UK and Africa.

“Phuthuma joins Tullow at a key moment in its development. With a stable balance sheet and a clear strategy underpinned by a commitment to Net Zero by 2030 and to responsible and safe operations, Tullow is well-positioned to re-establish itself as a leader in Africa. Phuthuma will play an important part in supporting Tullow’s ambitions to be a partner of choice for Governments and our industry peers as the African oil and gas sector evolves over the coming decade.”  Dorothy Thompson, Chair of Tullow Oil plc, asserted. 

“I am very pleased to have been appointed as Chairman-designate of Tullow, a company I have followed with much interest since its inception. I am impressed with the successful turnaround and transformational refinancing that allows Tullow to build on its strong position and reputation within the African oil and gas sector. 

“I believe Tullow is uniquely placed to develop the oil and gas resources of its host countries efficiently and safely while minimising its environmental impact. I look forward to supporting the Tullow team as they grow the business, deliver Shared Prosperity and create value for our investors, staff, host nations and communities.”PhuthumaNhleko, Chairman-designate of Tullow Oil Plc, said.

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