Dirk Karl

Group Executive: Chief Procurement Officer & Member of the Board Global Sourcing Company (GSC), MTN

Dirk is the Group Executive and CPO of Global Sourcing and
Supply Chain at MTN Group. He is also a Board Member of Global
Sourcing Company. Appointed to the Executive role in November 2017, he has overall responsibility for
Sourcing and Supply Chain across the MTN Group. He oversees an annual spend of $12 billion across 19
operations and two continents, serving over 280 million mobile subscribers. 
Dirk brings over 25 years of experience in strategic sourcing, supply chain & IT management across the
telecom, automotive and the financial sectors, across numerous geographies. Dirk started his career in the
financial services industry, where he started in Risk Management of Dresdner Bank AG (Germany) and
later at LBBW. Shortly after, Dirk joined DaimlerChrysler IT Services (debis) to lead their IT services for the
financial industry sector, a function which later became part of T-Systems. 
From there, Dirk moved to the United States to join General Motors as a regional Chief Information
Officer for Europe and Latin America for GMAC. After a successful five-years at GM, he joined ING Group
N.V. as the Chief Procurement Officer. Whilst at ING, Dirk managed a spend portfolio in excess of 8.0
billion EUR and built a Group-wide sourcing organization for the Bank and Insurance arms of ING with a
new central purchasing hub in Switzerland.
Prior to joining MTN Group, Dirk was among the founding team of BUYIN, the leading telecom procurement
alliance formed as a joint venture between Orange S.A. and Deutsche Telekom. With BUYIN, in the role of
Senior Vice President, Dirk led major transformations of the corporate sourcing departments from both
Deutsche Telekom and Orange, and established the alliance with a robust business model for Network
Technology, with a top-class operating structure and an exceptionally talented team. Among most notable
initiatives, Dirk introduced and executed on “best price alignment” with group suppliers, producing
significant savings for existing global agreements. He was also responsible for pioneering the strategic
development and launch of the demand management practices that enables category bundling, common
technology projects and joint resource management across 49 operating companies in Europe and AMEA.
Since joining MTN in 2017, Dirk has been instrumental in delivering significant impacts on MTN Group’s
sourcing and supply chain management business. Building on his experiences, he has transformed the
organization through multiple levers, which have increased the EBITDA results of the sourcing business by
more than 30%.
Dirk has taken MTN’s sourcing and supply chain to the forefront of the industry through an ambitious
digitalisation and transformation program. Focusing on the development and exploitation of advanced
technologies such as artificial intelligence and machine learning, a well established centre of excellence
comprising data scientists and sourcing and supply chain experts utilise their in-house developed “Nerve

Centre”, harnessing big data to unlock insights and drive a fact based decision approach through a “digital
as DNA” strategy. Dirk is also leading the delivery of an agile operating model for Global Sourcing and
Supply Chain which sees cross functional teams drive innovation and agility across all processes.
Aside of his day-to-day responsibilities, Dirk is a frequent speaker in industry forums, where his expertise is
sought by leading organizations not only in telecom, but across a variety of sectors. Dirk has been co-
publisher of a number of reports and whitepapers, and has been featured in a wide array of industry
publications, including Forbes Middle East as part of their Top Regional Executives. He most recently led
the Global Sourcing and Supply Chain organisation to the coveted title of ‘Best Use of Digital Technology’
at the CIPS Middle East Excellence in Procurement Awards.

About the MTN Group 
Launched in 1994, the MTN Group is a leading emerging market operator with a clear vision to lead the
delivery of a bold new digital world to our customers. We are inspired by our belief that everyone deserves
the benefits of a modern connected life. The MTN Group is listed on the JSE Securities Exchange in South
Africa under the share code ‘MTN’. Our strategy is Ambition 2025: Leading digital solutions for Africa’s
progress.