Cell C COO leaving the company — source

Cell C chief operations officer Andre Ittmann is leaving the mobile network operator, a source with knowledge of the matter has told MyBroadband.

According to the source, who spoke on condition of anonymity, Ittmann is expected to depart by the end of July — this Monday. He has already been removed from the “Leadership” page on Cell C’s website.

Ittmann is a qualified charted accountant with a 20-year career in finance and telecommunications.

He previously served as the chief executive officer of Cartrack South Africa and chief financial officer of Vivacom Group.

Before this, he held various senior leadership roles at Vodacom Mozambique, Lesotho and South Africa, including the position of chief financial officer at Vodacom Lesotho.

Ittmann would be the latest in a series of executive changes at the struggling company.

Former Cell C CFO Zaf Mahomed resigned last year as the company’s recapitalisation deal was nearing finalisation. The deal’s completion had been delayed several times by that point due to governance technicalities.

Mahomed’s departure was announced on 31 August 2022, together with his successor, Lerato Pule, who immediately took over on 1 September.

He is now the CFO of fishing company Oceana.

Former CEO Douglas Craigie Stevenson announced the return of Stephen Morony as wholesale business chief officer in January 2023.

Morony had resigned as Cell C’s executive head for its MVNO business in 2020 and did a two-year stint as Huge Telecom’s commercial director before his return.

Stevenson then resigned from Cell C two months later. The announcement was made on 23 March, and he left on 31 March.

Chief restructuring officer Brett Copans served as interim CEO until Vodacom veteran Jorge Mendes was announced as the new Cell C CEO in mid-June, taking the reins from 1 July 2023.

Mendes had been at Vodacom for 23 years.

Mendes’ appointment was announced a day after Cell C revealed that two MTN and Vodacom heavyweights had been appointed to its board.

These were former MTN South Africa CEO Godfrey Motsa and Vodacom corporate affairs executive Maya Makanjee. Motsa had also done a stint at Vodacom before becoming MTN SA CEO.

Mendes’ first hire to his executive team was Rachael Ayo-Oladejo, who is Cell C’s newly-minted Chief of Staff, Strategy, and Business Transformation.

Ayo-Oladejo was at Vodacom for over 11 years.

It is rumoured that at least one other Vodacom executive will follow Mendes to Cell C.

MyBroadband contacted Cell C for comment, and the operator had not answered our questions by the time of publication.

Update: Cell C has provided a statement.

Chief Operations Officer (COO), Andre Ittmann, resigned from Cell C with effect from 30 April 2023 and had been serving a 3-month notice period. Andre played a key role in the implementation of the company’s turnaround strategy and new operating model and was particularly instrumental in driving the delivery of operational efficiencies across the business. With this completed Andre decided that it was the right time for him to pursue other opportunities. There will not be an acting COO position and management will decide on the role in due course, in line with its mandate to drive growth and profitability.

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Cell C COO leaving the company — source