Van Marken: why I’m leaving Vox - TechCentral

Van Marken: why I’m leaving Vox

Doug Reed, left, will assume Tony van Marken's day-to-day responsibilities at Vox Telecom on 1 April

A punishing weekly commute between his home in Franschhoek in the Western Cape and Johannesburg is what prompted Vox Telecom CEO Tony van Marken to step down.

Van Marken, who is leaving Vox at the end of March after five years at the company, tells TechCentral that he wants to spend more time with his wife and two children, aged 13 and 15. Moving his family to Johannesburg was not an option, he says.

He says he’d been planning to step down in 2010, but the right opportunity hadn’t presented itself because of preparation for Vox’s year-end financial results and other commitments at the company.

Van Marken, whose day-to-day responsibilities will be assumed by Vox Telecom group MD Doug Reed, says the constant commuting had become too much. “I usually did Tuesday morning to Thursday night [in Johannesburg], and sometimes Monday to Friday, and I’ve been doing that for a long time,” he says.

“To be fair to the company, it needs a CEO who will be there when he’s needed [and]I don’t feel I can make that commitment anymore. I decided to prioritise my family.”

Van Marken says he will take the rest of 2011 off, spending time cycling and mountain climbing. A keen mountaineer, Van Marken has led Vox staff on a number of expeditions up some of the world’s highest peaks.

Vox, which is trading under cautionary, continues to be in long-running talks that could affect its share price. It’s understood the company is planning to delist from the JSE’s AltX board. Van Marken says financial director Gert Koen will continue to lead the process, but declines to say what the discussions are about.  — Duncan McLeod, TechCentral


  1. I think this is the start of the demise of VOX. LCR & VoIP are fast becoming old & outdated technologies and companies are not seeing the value in them anymore. I give them another 2 years

  2. Funny how ‘family’ suddenly becomes important when things don’t go well at the office. Knott-Craig came up with the same story when he jumped ship at iBurst.

  3. Why with immediate effect ? why not a months notice, you traveled for 5 years, 1 months would not hurt, sounds fishy ?

  4. @Marc

    VoIP is the future of telecoms. Please educate yourself before making uneducate statements. SIM termination (LCR) is now defunct due to the reduction of the wholesale termination rates in SA.

    Only point that i can agree with you is that Vox is going down.

    A CEO nevers leaves a company that is doing very well, which Vox clearly is not.

    The future of ISP’s in South Africa is undoubtably – Internet Solutions. No one can touch them.

    ISP Boy

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