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Biography of Irene CHARNLEY

South Africa > Business : Irene CHARNLEY

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Born on 06/05/1960 (format : day/month/year)

Biography :

Irene Charnley (b . May 6, 1960), is a South African business woman, Non executive Director of MTN (one of Africa's leading telecommunications players)  Non-Executive Director: FirstRand Bank; Director: Johnnic; Director: Johnnic Communications.

Irene Charnley spent 13 years with the National Union of Mineworkers and played a strategic role in heading up the services pillar, coordinating the legal, housing, research and social security divisions. Irene played a pivotal role in the formation of the National Empowerment Consortium (50 percent black business and 50 percent labour) and their purchase of a 35 percent stake in Johnnic Holdings. She joined Johnnic as Executive Director in 1996 and took responsibility for telecommunications in 1998, following her drive to get the Group refocused on media, entertainment and telecommunications.

In August 2000, Irene was elected Businesswoman of the Year in recognition of her entrepreneurship and outstanding contribution to the success and transformation of Johnnic from an industrial conglomerate to a focused media, entertainment and telecommunications group. Irene was also infl uential in ensuring that Johnnic became the controlling shareholder in MCell (now known as the MTN Group). More recently Irene has been named as one of the top 50 businesswomen outside of the United States.

She was the Commercial Director at the MTN Group, responsible for the company’s strategic investments and international expansion activities. Irene also serves as a Director on a number of company boards, is a member of the King Committee on Corporate Governance and is an International Marketing Council Board Member.

In 2007, Irene Charnley is to step down as an executive director of MTN but will remain a member of one of the richest boards of directors in SA.

The head of a number of MTN’s African operations will continue in a non-executive capacity.

Charnley was voted one of the top-50 businesswomen outside the United States by Fortune magazine. She has been at the forefront of black economic empowerment in South Africa. During her time at Johnnic, was instrumental in the Ikageng scheme, which saw 32 000 previously disadvantaged South Africans buy shares in Johnnic. In another landmark transaction, in 2002 Charnley was instrumental in a R4-billion management and staff buy-in into the MTN Group.

Last update : 11/30/2015

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