The Board of Cell C today (13 July 2011) announced that company CEO Lars P. Reichelt will be leaving the company with immediate effect.
“Lars has indicated his wish to resign for personal reasons and, after discussions about the way forward, the Board has agreed to accept his resignation,” the company said in a press statement.
The Board has nominated Simon Duffy, Chairman of the company, to serve as acting CEO until a successor is appointed.
During his two and a half year tenure at the helm of the company, Lars has led the much needed transformation and has strategically positioned Cell C for future growth, Duffy said.
“The directors and I wish to thank Lars for his contribution to the restructuring of the company and for his strategic input and leadership in moving Cell C to the forefront of the mobile broadband market. We wish him success for the future and will be looking to the new CEO to drive and implement the company’s strategy in the next phase of its development. ”
“The Cell C crew has made incredible strides over the past few years and I am very proud to have led that process. I am confident the company, supported by its strong management team, is well-positioned for continued growth, and have agreed to be available in an advisory capacity,” said Reichelt.
Reichelt joined Cell C as CEO in March 2009 and lead the company during its transformation from a ‘me-too’ operator to a far more prominent player in the South African cellular market. This was achieved partly by investing in a 900MHz HSPA+ network and launching aggressively priced mobile broadband offerings.
Reichelt was also behind Cell C’s re-branding campaign, giving the cellular operator a new look and brand image.
Lars is an experienced executive in mobile telecommunications with an strong track record in managing mobile businesses, including having been CEO of Banglalink, Orascom’s venture in Dhaka, CEO of Telefonica 3G Mobile in Zurich, and Head of Wireless for Yahoo! Europe in London.
Commenting on his departure Reichelt said that that the revival of Cell C should not only be credited to him as it was a team effort by all of Cell C’s staff.
“The Cell C crew has made the difference we all see – it is the whole team that has pulled together and is working tirelessly every day to bring the Cell C vision of bringing fast, affordable internet access to the (almost) entire country,” said Reichelt.
“IP is where the future lies for South Africa, for work, for education, for health, for civil services. South Africa has an incredible opportunity to leap-frog into an IP/Cloud world and Cell C is doing its part to put the foundations in place: Network first, services next, innovation thereafter.”
“Cell C obviously can not do this alone and it is the competition, we, I believe, have re-ignited that will thrust us there,” Reichelt said.
Reichelt added that he will be in and out of South Africa over the next few weeks – a country which he “learned to respect, admire and like a lot”.