Vuma’s plans for Herotel as it hunts for a CEO

Herotel is recruiting to appoint a permanent CEO after Van Zyl Botha stepped down from the role, the company has told MyBroadband.

In the meantime, former Vodacom executive Chris Ross is serving as acting CEO.

Following, Botha’s quiet departure in September last year, industry speculation emerged that Herotel is not actually aiming to recruit a CEO.

The talk comes from Vumatel acquiring a non-controlling 45% stake in Herotel in February for an undisclosed sum.

Last November, Vumatel and Vodacom announced they plan to merge their fibre networks into a new, as-yet-unnamed entity.

Vodacom agreed to acquire a 30% co-controlling stake in Vumatel and Dark Fibre Africa for R13.2 billion.

In May, Community Investment Ventures Holdings (CIVH), which owns Vumatel and Dark Fibre Africa (DFA), announced it had integrated the two companies into a new infrastructure company.

This is seen as preparation for the merger between CIVH and Vodacom.

Vumatel CEO Dietlof Mare was appointed chief executive officer of the new entity.

However, CIVH assured the two businesses would continue to operate separately.

Former Vodacom executive Andries Delport continues as DFA CEO, and CIVH said he would be an integral part of the infrastructure company management committee.

Given CIVH’s move to consolidate its fibre assets into one entity, this raises the question — would Herotel be similarly folded into the new infrastructure company and an internal executive be appointed as CEO?

“We acquired a non-controlling stake and have no plans to roll them into the [new infrastructure] entity,” Mare told MyBroadband.

“It is a great business that is focused on a different segment in and around the secondary cities, and our equity stake allows them to accelerate their vision to, like Vuma, connect more of South Africa’s communities.”

Mare said Herotel has a strong and experienced management team that will remain in place.

“We would provide support from the outside as a shareholder,” he stated.

Now read: Vumatel testing 10 Gbps fibre

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Vuma’s plans for Herotel as it hunts for a CEO