MultiChoice executive exodus

The exodus of senior personnel at South African pay-TV giant MultiChoice has continued in 2021, with two more executives leaving the company in the last few weeks.

In an email sent to employees on Thursday, Group CEO Calvo Mawela announced that MultiChoice Africa Holdings (MAH) CEO Brand De Villiers is leaving the company to pursue other business interests.

De Villiers, a qualified Chartered Accountant, served for nearly six years at MultiChoice.

He joined the company as Strategy and New Business Director in December 2015 and was appointed as MAH CEO in January 2017.

De Villiers will be replaced by the current Director of MultiChoice Africa Southern Region, Fhulu Badugela, starting from 1 August.

MyBroadband has also learnt that Natasha Matos-Hemingway is leaving the company after less than two years as MultiChoice Connected Video Chief Marketing Officer.

Matos-Hemingway started at MultiChoice in October 2019 after nine years in various roles at Microsoft and Google.

The latest shift in the company’s executive team follows three other senior executives departing MultiChoice in 2020.

This started with MultiChoice Connected Video CEO Nicklas Ekdahl’s resignation in July, followed by Chief Strategy Officer Max Krudop leaving the company in August.

Shortly thereafter, MultiChoice South Africa CEO Mark Rayner resigned after 14-years at the broadcaster.

Another notable resignation in the same year was MultiChoice Connected Video’s head of communications Richard Boorman.

It’s not clear what is behind the flurry of resignations. However, it has been speculated that MultiChoice CEO Calvo Mawela’s management style and strategic direction were the cause.

Below is an overview of the high-profile resignations and departures at MultiChoice over the last year, as well as the appointees who replaced or will be replacing them.

Brand de Villiers has held multiple high-profile positions in corporate South Africa.

He started his career at Vodacom South Africa and later became shareholder and CEO of investment company Marc Group, which focused on commercialising sports and marketing rights in Africa.

Before taking over from Tim Jacobs at MultiChoice, De Villers served as PSL CEO.

De Villiers’ replacement, Fhulu Badugela, has been with MultiChoice since 2007 and previously headed operations at M-Net.

Mawela said in this capacity, Badugela built an effective operational management team and ensured the operations of M-Net ran efficiently.

He also said she has helped deliver excellent results for the Group in her work as director of the Southern Africa region.

Natasha Matos-Hemingway was MultiChoice’s Connected Video Chief Marketing Officer.

Before joining the company, she was Microsoft 365 Commercial and Marketing Director for the Middle East and Africa (MEA) for four years.

Before this, she served as Google’s regional sales head for Israel, Greece and Sub-Saharan Africa.

MultiChoice did not confirm Matos-Hemingway’s resignation or who would replace her.

Mark Rayner joined MultiChoice in 2007, where he initially served as the chief financial officer of DStv Mobile.

In September 2008, he was appointed DStv Mobile CEO, and in November 2013, he became MultiChoice South Africa chief operating officer.

Rayner was promoted to CEO in May 2016.

Rayner’s replacement, Nyiko Shiburi, previously served as the director of MultiChoice Africa for the Southern Region.

Niclas Ekdahl was appointed as MultiChoice Connected Video CEO in September 2018.

During his tenure, he drove several key projects at the Connected Video unit, including a redesign of the DStv Now interface and the launches of Showmax’s R49 mobile-only plan and Showmax Pro subscription.

He was replaced by MultiChoice Group general entertainment CEO Yolisa Phahle, who currently acts in both capacities.

Phahle is a seasoned broadcasting veteran with eight years of experience as a senior producer at the BBC and almost four years at M-Net before being appointed in her current role.

Max Krudop joined MultiChoice Group as chief strategy officer in May 2018, where he was also responsible for new investments, partnerships, and special projects.

Before joining MultiChoice, he served as strategy director at Naspers.

Krudop’s replacement has not been announced.

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MultiChoice executive exodus