Biggest tech executive moves in 2020

2020 has been a highly disruptive year for business executives in South Africa with the COVID-19 pandemic and lockdown creating tremendous uncertainty.

It is, therefore, no surprise that numerous high-profile chief executives have announced they are stepping down over the past eight months.

Spur CEO Pierre van Tonder announced in July that he had resigned after working at the company for 38 years. He served as Spur CEO since 1996.

One month later, the restaurant chain announced that its COO, Mark Farrelly, had resigned with effect from the end of August.

The South African mining industry was also hit by two high-profile resignations earlier this year.

AngloGold Ashanti CEO Kelvin Dushnisky announced he would step down for personal reasons on 1 September 2020.

Gold Fields CEO Nick Holland announced he will be stepping down in 2021 after leading the company for 13 years.

The local IT and telecommunications sector saw many resignations and moves since the lockdown was announced.

These include MTN CEO Rob Shuter, Liquid Telecom SA CEO Reshaad Sha, Net1 CEO Herman Kotze, and Webafrica CEO Tim Wyatt-Gunning.

Here are the biggest tech executives moves of 2020.


MTN CEO Rob Shuter

In March, MTN announced that its group president and CEO Rob Shuter will be stepping down from his role at the end of his contract.

In August, MTN said Ralph Mupita had been appointed as president and CEO of MTN Group effective from 1 September 2020, with incumbent CEO Rob Shuter stepping down on 31 August.

Robert Rob Shuter MTN CEO


Liquid Telecom South Africa CEO Reshaad Sha

In June, Reshaad Sha announced that he had resigned as Liquid Telecom South Africa CEO to head up a new artificial intelligence venture.

Liquid Telecom South Africa has subsequently appointed Deon Geyser as its new CEO.


Net1 CEO Herman Kotze

In August, Net1 announced that its CEO and director Herman Kotze would step down at the end of September.

Kotze has been at Net1 for over two decades and will consult with the company to ensure a smooth transition.


Seacom CEO Byron Clatterbuck

Seacom CEO Byron Clatterbuck resigned in December and will be ending his tenure with the company on 31 March 2021.

Oliver Fortuin, who is currently the Group Chief Enterprise Officer at MTN, will be taking over the Seacom CEO role on 4 January 2021.


Jasco Electronics CEO Mark Janse van Vuuren

Jasco Electronics CEO Mark Janse van Vuuren resigned on 31 May 2020 following a restructuring of the company.

Janse van Vuuren has been at the company for 12 years and resigned to pursue new interests.


Webafrica CEO Tim Wyatt-Gunning

Webafrica CEO Tim Wyatt-Gunning stepped down on 1 July 2020 and was replaced by Sean Nourse, who has served as MWEB CEO for the past three years.

Wyatt-Gunning has been Webafrica CEO since October 2011 and said it was the right time to find a successor with fresh ideas.


Uber Sub-Saharan Africa GM Alon Lits

Uber Sub-Saharan Africa GM and director Alon Lits announced in July that he was leaving the company after seven years.

Lits was part of Uber’s first venture into Africa in Johannesburg in 2013 and rapidly expanded Uber across 15 other cities in Sub Saharan Africa.


Denel CEO Danie du Toit

In July, Denel announced that CEO Danie du Toit would step down on 15 August 2020. It did not give reasons for du Toit’s departure.

Denel, which manufactures aerospace and military hardware, has been struggling financially and had difficulties paying salaries.


Telkom Group CFO Tsholofelo Molefe

In December, MTN announced the appointment of Tsholofelo Molefe as its new Group Chief Financial Officer (GCFO).

This follows Molefe resigning from her position as GCFO at Telkom with immediate effect.


Nedbank CFO Raisibe Morathi

Nedbank CFO Raisibe Morathi resigned from the company and joined Vodacom as its Group CFO on 1 November 2020.

She was also appointed to the Vodacom Group Board.

Raisibe Morathi


Now read: Telkom Group CFO Tsholofelo Molefe resigns to join MTN

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Biggest tech executive moves in 2020