MTETO NYATI, GROUP CHIEF EXECUTIVE OF TECHNOLOGY GIANT
ALTRON, WAS CONFERRED A PHD HONORIS CAUSA IN INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY MANAGEMENT BY THE UNIVERSITY OF JOHANNESBURG (UJ), DURING THE 2021 VIRTUAL OCTOBER GRADUATIONS. Presenting the award at the ceremony, the Vice-Chancellor and Principal, Prof Tshilidzi Marwala, said that the recurring theme in Mteto’s life journey is people development, SME development and ethical leadership. His Honorary Doctorate was conferred for his outstanding contributions, driven by elevating others, service, integrity, excellence and fairness. Recognised throughout his career for his ability to transform companies for the better, Mteto joined Altron in 2017 and turned it into a world-class information and communications technology company that does good business while doing social good. Previously, he was Chief Executive Officer of MTN South Africa, where he succeeded in returning the mobile company to growth by overhauling employee engagement and transforming customer experience. Last year, Mteto won the EY World Entrepreneur Award Southern Africa in recognition of his turnaround of Altron. In 2020, he was recognised by the South African Professional Services Awards with a Lifetime Achievement Award for Excellence in Management. In 2019, Mteto won the Business Leader of the Year award at the All African Business Leaders Awards and the CEO Special Award from the Institute of People Management. He was the joint winner of South Africa’s 2013
Mteto Nyati, recipient of a PhD Honoris Causa in IT Management
IT Personality of the Year and in 2004, was named one of Yale University’s World Fellows on Global Leadership. Mteto, who holds a BSc in Mechanical Engineering, says that as a pragmatic engineer, he fully aligns with UJ’s values. “I commit to spending the remaining years of my life evangelizing UJ’s mission. I will strive to serve humanity through innovation that matters, and my blood is now orange,” he said. Mteto’s passion for science and mathematics developed in childhood. In 1978, he achieved a secondary school scholarship at St John’s College (Mthatha), which paved the way to representing South Africa at the International Science Olympiad (London), after which he opted to study mechanical engineering at the former University of Natal. Here he secured a scholarship from
Afrox as the Top First Year Student. He joined the company in 1986, developing a taste for managing information technology. In 1993, Tiger Oats recruited him as Group Head: Engineering (Tastic Rice Corporation) and in 1995, he was appointed at Nampak to tackle international competition succeeding to translate international trade dynamics into productive shop floor progress. His contribution at Nampak led to IBM recruiting him as an executive and here he gained a deep understanding of blending small businesses’ pain points with corporate strategy. Mteto is author of the number one bestseller, Betting on a Darkie, a book about his life as a shopkeeper’s son, family man and business leader at local and multinational corporates.
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