Internet service provider (ISP) MWeb said on Tuesday that its group CEO, Rudi Jansen, is stepping down at the end of February after 15 years at the Naspers-owned subsidiary. Jansen has held the position of CEO since 2005. DStv Mobile CEO Francois Theron has been named as Jansen’s successor.
Jansen hasn’t indicated his next move beyond saying that it will likely be outside of the ISP sector. Jansen was one of MWeb’s first employees and originally held the position of head of finance.
His replacement, Theron, has worked in both the pay TV and telecommunications industries for a decade and a half, including a stint as CEO for MultiChoice in the Middle East and Egypt, time at MTN-owned M-Tel, and positions at United Broadcasting Corp in Thailand and on the board of the Asian Cable and Satellite Association.
Theron, meanwhile, will see his position as CEO of DStv Mobile filled by current GM Mark Rayner.
Under Jansen, MWeb became the first ISP in SA to offer relatively affordable uncapped broadband products, a move that helped drive data prices down for SA consumers. The company has more than 320 000 customers, including both private and corporate clients.
Jansen says the move comes after a couple of months of careful consideration. “It’s been a difficult decision to make having been at the company for so long,” he says. “I’m very happy with what we’ve achieved, especially with uncapped in the last two years.
Referring to MWeb having pioneered uncapped products, Jansen says it’s “great to have been a part of something so fundamental to changing the industry”. He adds that hopefully it will prove to be the first step to getting the sorts of streaming and cloud-based services available in places like the US and Europe in SA. “You can’t do video-on-demand in a capped world,” he says.
Asked whether the move to a non-ISP sector is out of necessity – due contractual obligations – or because of a personal desire for a change, Jansen says it’s a bit of both. He says he is looking for new challenges, but that the ISP industry will always remain close to his heart and that he will continue to follow it closely.
“I have another excellent opportunity that I want to pursue, but it will be some time before I make a public announcement about what that entails,” Jansen says.
Speaking about his successor, Jansen says Theron has been part of the group for a long time and describes him as “an excellent manager and CEO”. He says Theron understands the group and culture very well and that he expects the transition to be “seamless”. — Craig Wilson, TechCentral
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