iBurst announced today that Jannie van Zyl has been appointed as the new WBS/iBurst Group CEO. Van Zyl will head up all of WBS/iBurst’s operations, including iBurst South Africa, Broadlink and Dial-a-Nerd.
Van Zyl is an Electronics Engineer by training and an ICT veteran with over 25 years experience in the industry. He became involved in the IT industry in the 1980’s with the explosive growth of the Personal Computing (PC) market, and followed the trend into the 90’s as networking – and IP networking specifically – became the new growth area.
In the new millennium this logically extended into the software industry where Van Zyl was involved in the development of leading edge software solutions in the ICT space. After selling his software solutions company to Dimension Data in the late 90’s, he consulted to a number of South African tech companies.
He spent the last 5 years with the Vodacom Group where he was involved in various areas of the business, from operations to strategy. Van Zyl formed an integral part of the success of the cellular provider’s broadband strategy which saw Vodacom become the leading broadband provider in South Africa.
The new iBurst Group CEO is also well known in the home automation industry through his home automation company Omnisol and he showcased some of the most advanced automation tools in his home in Cape Town.
Under the username Vodacom3G Van Zyl became one of the best known and respected members of the MyBroadband community. Van Zyl is a regular at MyBroadband get-togethers and other events, and was voted MyBroadband member of the Year in 2007/8.
Van Zyl plans to reposition iBurst in the newly liberated telecommunications market and offer a far wider range of telecoms and IT services. The company will also have a stronger focus on the business market. Van Zyl said that larger telecoms players have not really delivered on their promise to smaller businesses, something which iBurst will address with an improved value proposition.
Good news for consumers is that the new WBS/iBurst Group CEO was very clear on one thing: All wholesale savings will be passed on to consumers without delay. Van Zyl further said that MyBroadband forum members can expect a stronger presence online from iBurst, and that feedback from forum members will play an integral part in the company’s new product developments and to ensure high service levels.
New company structure
Van Zyl takes over from iBurst MD Alan Knott-Craig Jnr. who joined iBurst in January 2006 as Managing Director. Knott-Craig resigned in April, explaining that his recent move to Stellenbosch meant that he had to commute between Stellenbosch and Johannesburg – something which will take its toll on both his family and iBurst.
Van Zyl was however not the only new appointment at iBurst. Ian Halliday, CEO of iBurst Africa, has been appointed as iBurst South Africa’s new Managing Director. Halliday will be responsible for the operations of iBurst SA and will report directly to Van Zyl.
The appointment of Van Zyl as iBurst Group CEO and Halliday as iBurst MD is part of a restructuring of the WBS Group which sees current WBS CEO Thami Mtshali moving to become the executive chairman and Knott-Craig’s duties dissolving into the new structure.
The new management structure at iBurst becomes effective 1 July, but Knott-Craig will remain at the company until mid-August.
Jannie van Zyl as iBurst CEO – give your views