Koos Bekker steps down as Naspers CEO

Multinational media company Naspers has announced that its most senior ecommerce chief Bob van Dijk will succeed CEO Koos Bekker (61), as from April 1.

Bekker has been at the group’s helm since 1997. His contract was due to end in march 2013, but he agreed to stay on the board for another year.

Bekker is to succeed current board chair Ton Vosloo when he steps down in April 2015. But for now, he is to stand down from the Naspers board for a year and aims to “travel widely and research where the group’s next spurt of growth may come from, once ecommerce has reached maturity,” says Naspers.

He will remain on the Tencent board.

According to the statement, Bekker has participated in “four technology spurts” with the group.

  • Pay TV service M-Net was launched in 1985 with Naspers a 26% backer. In 1993, M-Net’s subscriber management, signal distribution and cellular telephone businesses, and its holding in FilmNet were placed into new company MultiChoice (later called MIH). Naspers now operates pay TV “across 48 countries in Africa and serves some seven million households.
  • Phone operator MTN was launched in 1991.
  • In 1997 Naspers progressed into the internet – now its biggest business segment. In 2001 it acquired a 46.5% interest in Chinese instant messaging platform Tencent Holdings – as at 31 March 2009, MIH has a 35.04% interest in Tencent. This acquisition has seen Naspers share price soar – shooting past the R1000 a share mark in December last year, to a 52-week high of R1295 on February 19 this year.
  • In 2008 the group entered ecommerce.

Forty-one-year-old Van Dijk has an MSc Econometrics from Erasmus University Rotterdam and an MBA from Insead in France. Previously he was head of eBay Germany and COO of Schibsted’s Classifieds.

“In view of our strong development focus on ecommerce, the board believes that Bob has the skills to lead us into the next phase of our growth,” said Vosloo.

Source: Moneyweb

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Koos Bekker steps down as Naspers CEO