Craig Venter leaves Altron, Altech

Altron TMT has announced that CEO Craig Venter has decided to leave the Altron Group and his position in TMT and Altech, after 27 years of service.

Venter will be leaving the position and stepping down from his Altron directorships, effective 31 July 2015.

This follows announcements during Altron’s annual results on 13 May 2015 that, as part of the review of the Group’s business strategy going forward, Altron will be transitioning from a family managed business to an independent management structure.

The Venter family will remain a committed shareholder and will retain its 56% shareholding in Altron.

Commenting on his decision, Venter said that while he would step down as leader of the Altron TMT Group (including the Altech and Bytes group of companies), he would continue to be involved in the business.

He said that he would play more of an oversight role for the family’s investments, rather than being directly involved in the day-to-day operational management of the business.

Altron TMT continues to contribute significantly to Altron’s bottom line as can be seen from its most recent financial results in which Altron TMT generated revenue of R19.4 billion and R1.2 billion at an EBITDA level, which is noteworthy when one looks at the Altron total ebitda of R1.4 billion.

The group announced its annual results for the year ended 28 February 2015, reporting a revenue decreased of 1% to R27.6 billion while ebitda decreased by 23% to R1.4 billion.

Headline earnings per share (HEPS) declined by 50% to 94 cents, while the group reported a total operating loss of R60 million – from an operating profit of R775 million the year prior.

This includes an operating loss from continued operations of R26 million, and a loss from discontinued operations of R34 million, Altron reported.

Altron announced on 12 May that it was in advanced stages of selling off the GSM subscriber base of Altech Autopage – as the business had been adversely affected by ongoing mobile termination rate reductions.

The non-GSM part of the business will be retained and housed within other operations.

Altron said it will focus on selling off some non-core assets and entering into equity and technology agreements with some international partners.

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Craig Venter leaves Altron, Altech