Former Vodacom Group CEO Pieter Uys will join the management team of Stellenbosch-based investment firm Remgro in April 2013 on a full-time basis. He will also join the company’s board of directors.
Remgro, which emerged from Rembrandt — the tobacco and industrial conglomerate founded by Anton Rupert — was, through VenFin, one of the early investors in Vodacom. It sold its stake in the mobile operator to the UK’s Vodafone in 2006 for R16bn.
It continues to be a significant investor in the technology sector, with stakes in Seacom, Dimension Data subsidiary Britehouse, Dark Fibre Africa investor Community Investment Ventures and Chinese advertising network VisionChina.
Uys, who has worked for Vodacom for nearly two decades, announced in July that he would step down, despite earlier denials that he was leaving. Former Vodacom SA MD Shameel Joosub — who until recently headed up Vodafone in Spain — replaced Uys at the top of Vodacom on 1 September. Uys will remain with Vodacom until 31 March 2013 to help facilitate a smooth handover to Joosub.
Remgro CEO Jannie Durand tells TechCentral that Uys will join the company’s management board as an investment executive.
“We think with his business acumen and telecommunications experience he will add value to all our investments,” Durand says. “We have known Pieter for nearly 20 years through our previous Vodacom investment.”
Uys has previously indicated a desire to move back to Stellenbosch. Uys has a BSc and an MSc in engineering from Stellenbosch University and an MBA from Stellenbosch Business School.
He tells TechCentral he is looking forward to the move to Remgro and adds that the company is not new to him on account of the stake VenFin previously held in Vodacom. “Jannie Durand was previously on the Vodacom board, and Remgro’s chief financial officer, Leon Crouse, was Vodacom’s finance chief for many years. I know the people very well; I know how they operate and they’re great people to work with.”
Uys says he is keen to transfer his experience at “generating shareholder value”, garnered since Vodacom listed, to new sectors. While he says he expects to be able to give “good advice” around technology companies such as Seacom and Dark Fibre Africa, he adds that he’s hoping to deal with sectors outside of technology and telecommunications, too. — (c) 2012 NewsCentral Media