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Lippe suspended

Staff Writer
High-flying CEO at Be mobile and Botswana Telecommunications Corporations, Thapelo Lippe was yesterday suspended from his post - indefinitely - as internal investigations against him began.

Mmegi understands the decision was taken by the Board at its meeting yesterday. Board chairman at BTC, Leon Makwinja would not immediately disclose the reason for the indefinite suspension of the CEO but told Mmegi that enquiries are on- going, and that they have not set a timeline for Lippe's suspension.

"It is an internal matter and it will remain that, discussing the reasons for his suspension now would prejudice the case as he remains our employee," Makwinja said in a brief telephone interview, adding that details would come out later today.

Although the nature of the investigations were not immediately clear both Lippe and other members of the BTC board, including Makwinja, were recently on record expressing their differences over huge bonus payouts to staff last year.

Lippe joined BTC and Be Mobile last year when they were struggling in the market and within six months

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the results were impressive, with, be MOBILE confirming it had doubled its customer base to reach 200,000 active users of its network.

By March 2009 BTC group's annual results for the period ended March 2009 were in excess of their target by 310 percent for the last six months, and the young executive declared he wanted to make history by reaching the P1 billion in revenue mark in the next financial period.

As at end of March 2009 year, the group's revenue stood at P835.9 million, only P164 million shy of P1 billion.

Lippe's soaring career started when he was appointed CEO of the Orange cellphone network, before he was snapped up by Microsoft to be the country director in Kenya. However he was recruited by BTC in 2009 to head their group, which includes Be Mobile, BTC phones, and internet company Botsnet, among others.



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